Archives

Hybrids: Alternative Photographic Methods (PHO4215.01)

Students in this interdisciplinary course will focus on combining photographic media with other materials and artistic disciplines.  They will explore the techniques that directly manipulate the image before, during and after recording photograph. Experimentation and creative risk taking throughout the various assignments will be stressed. Through this process of experimentation students will produce projects in two dimensional and three dimensional formats using these various techniques.

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 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: Participation and performance in Music Workshop Tuesday 6:30-8PM

Advanced Workshop for Painting and Drawing (PAI4302.01)

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.

Development and Evolution of Language (PSY4116.01)

Relying heavily on evolutionary developmental biology, we will investigate transdisciplinary questions about origins of language. On the surface, we will look at the evolution of language, including the physical and cognitive aspects of language, and the individual developmental trajectories each of us takes in our learning of a language (or two or three). More deeply, we necessarily draw on computational modelling, archaeology, physical anthropology, psychology, comparative cognition, and cultural anthropology to try to understand the parameters of this topic, and the evidence within. As students in the class, you will be asked to think deeply, critically, and broadly in areas where we have little evidence or, more frequently, contradictory evidence. This is not a class where there is a “right” answer. Rather we come at these questions with little bits of evidence and most importantly, our big brains.

Chemistry Independent Research Projects (CHE4275.01)

Students will apply the principles of Chemistry 1, 2, and 3 to the execution of substantive research projects of their own design. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged: chemistry/biology, chemistry/geology etc. Students will also be responsible for independently analyzing their data and publicly presenting their findings. Persons interested in this class need to have a research proposal submitted before the beginning of the term.

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).

Intermediate Guitar (MIN4025.01)

Instrumental Study on Guitar. Continued studies from Beginning Guitar. Advanced study in fret-board harmony and theory.

Poets’ Love: The Song Cycle (MVO4127.01)

This class is directed toward the somewhat advanced vocal performer. They will
learn about German Lieder, the wonderful confluence of text and music, which is a
highpoint of the Romantic period in music. They will study and perform Schumann’s
Dichterliebe, one of the greatest song cycles ever written. Students will together and
separately learn all of the sixteen songs and perform them in a culminating concert.
They will also study the relationship between the poems and the music in the songs
of the period. Romantic composers, unlike the classical composers, sought to
express emotion, often revealing their innermost thoughts and feelings, positive and
negative, love and death. The poets of the period often juxtaposed these human
emotions with the magnificence and neutrality of nature.

We will study the art, poetry and emotional feeling of the period with an emphasis
on some of the great poets, Goethe, Heine, and look at other song cycles by
Schumann as well as cycles by Schubert and Wolf.

Participants will do written assignments about the romantic era. This is an
opportunity for 6-8 students, auditioned by the instructor, to learn more about
German Lieder, the great composer Schumann and to perform his Dichterliebe.

Reports and papers will be assigned. Rep sessions with the pianist will be available,
as well as coaching in German pronunciation.

Choice Theory (PEC4130.01)

Economic decisions are usually taken under constraints. These constraints may include limited budget, limited time, or limited information available to people. Choice Theory in economics provides us with a way to make sense of these decision patterns for individuals and for groups, and to describe how the patterns might change when the constraints change. This is an advanced level course in microeconomics. We will use graphs and mathematical formulations to express the key concepts in formal terms. For this, a grasp of high-school algebra, calculus and geometry is required. Prerequisites for the course include at least one 2000-level course in economics and a course in mathematics. Additionally, prior approval of the course instructor is required. Students should email the instructor with an expression of interest by November 30th.

Inclusion Practices (SCT4149.01)

Students enrolled in this course will meet weekly with the instructor to design and deliver programming for a spring term diversity conference.  Enrolled students will be expected to familiarize themselves with readings provided by the instructor and will submit weekly updates of proposed conference activities.  The final product will involve independent or collaborative programming activities for the conference and the submission of a written summary for compilation in a conference proceedings.

Delia Saenz
TBD (first seven weeks)
This course is categorized as All courses, SCT.

The Five Obstructions (MCO4125.01)

A song feedback collective, focused on how musical restrictions can spur us to growth. Over the course of the term, students will write 5 songs (or revise a single song in radical ways) based on the critique and decisions of the group. We’ll discuss how to form supportive but insightful critique while challenging each other to go new places. What does it take to create a song based on someone else’s text, completely a capella, or without a single chord? How do you welcome in new materials and collaborators, from across genre and style?

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.

Making Music with Modular Soft Synths (MCO4124.01)

This class will focus on historical methods of electronic music composition through a contemporary lens. We will study synthesis in depth, and the development of early analog synthesizers, while learning how these techniques have influenced contemporary software design. While the class will focus on composing, students will be expected to learn how to use Reaktor, VCV Rack, and Madrona Labs software. We will have weekly critiques of works-in-progress, and the class will culminate in a concert of student compositions at the end of the semester.

Transformative Voice (MCO4117.01)

In this class, students will use their voices to create stylistically diverse sonic compositions, from sound collages to pop songs. The focus will be on learning a variety of techniques on how to transform the human voice with electronics. We will cover vocoders, ring modulators, delays, autotune, harmonizers and pitch shifters. A series of composition assignments will frame the class, each designed to demonstrate a special aspect of vocal processing. Students will propose a final composition project at the midterm, to be presented at the end of the class in an in-class concert

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.

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

Advanced Projects in Video II (FV4242.01)

Students will work towards completing one significant/thesis work or body of work of their own devising during the course of the semester. Emphasis will be on depth of content, refining aesthetic, conceptual, and technical approach, and in-depth peer critiques of works in progress.  This is the “second half” of Advanced Projects.  The first half (fall 2019) emphasized research, storyline development, and other aspects of pre-production.  In this second half (spring 2020), students should have a solid idea of concept, and production/shooting should already be underway and/or complete.  Together, we will look at different aspects of post-production, from different models of editing, correcting color and sound, and methods of final presentation, from cinematic screening to multimedia installation and online platforms. We will also address production issues (shooting, lighting, sound, etc) on a per-student basis, based on the needs of their own specific projects – and address practicalities such as the Senior Show and building a moving image portfolio.

Advanced Ceramics Projects – Self & Clay (CER4315.01)

Sculpture and vessels are realized through an exchange between the medium and the self. The class will begin with the question: What is Sculpture? What is a Vessel? Projects will push forward conceptual topics specific to sculpture and vessels including form and presence, the body, light and illusion upon form, the transformation of materials through techniques and the generation of ideas through drawing, writing and making. This is an advanced level course for students who have developed technical sufficiency and have a desire to explore further in ceramic processes. This class will provide a framework for explorations into making and thinking that will eventually become the foundation for a self-directed practice. The philosophy and vocabulary of 3D work and the techniques for self-generating projects will be the primary focus of this class.

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.

Food and Politics: A Food Citizens Methodology Workshop (APA4160.02)

This class will put focus on investigating various approaches to food studies while examining academic institutions’ curriculums and non-institutional models developed by civic and creative practitioners. This intensive Methodology Workshop provides opportunities to explore food as a pedagogical tool to “do food justice” and to practice trans-disciplinary research methods, including socially engaged art. We will examine the complexity of food issues in colonial and postcolonial constructions and in the context of globalism. Bearing in mind that cooking is both knowledge and practice, this class will engage in critical food studies beyond the confines of academic textbooks and encourage students to practice in-situ learning outside of the classroom. This course incorporates research oriented syllabus-building activities which shall contribute to establishing an inclusive food studies curriculum.

Book Club Italiano (ITA4612.01)

Designed like a book club, this course will allow students to read books and discuss them as a class. Titles include Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore (Pirandello, 1921), L’isola di Arturo (Morante, 1957), and Pecore nere: racconti (Kuruvilla, Scego, Mubiayi, Wadia, 2012). While the main focus is on developing reading and speaking skills, this course will also include writing and listening practice. The course, conducted in Italian, will culminate in a research and a creative project. Intermediate high and advanced levels combined.

Corequisites: Attending two events of the Language Series

Noelle Rouxel-Cubberly
Tu 10:30-12:20
This course is categorized as All courses, Italian.

Action Research Lab for Food Sovereignty (APA4239.01)

Action research is a methodology for learning while doing and food sovereignty is the practice of self-determination in food systems. Food sovereignty projects solve food insecurity by empowering communities and individuals to produce their own culturally appropriate food and medicine. The class will split into 4 groups, each working on a different food sovereignty related project in Bennington County. The class as a whole will meet to discuss literature on action research methodologies and food sovereignty. Community engagement projects include: 1) building a permaculture garden at a domestic violence safe house; 2) organizing and hosting a local food conference for individuals and organizations in Bennington County; 3) working with a local school on food and garden education; and 4) working with the Purple Carrot Farm on campus.

Quick Studies (DAN4144.01)

For each class, students will bring in short movement studies for performance that day. These can be made for solo or group exploration, and as soon as they are done, we will let them go and move on to the next work in the series. Throughout this practice, we will notice timing, spacing, and detail. By attending to the movement qualities, inherent technical challenges, and tasks at hand quickly, we will find multiple approaches and solutions. By continually making, adapting, and then living in the performance on a particular day, we will find out what happens.

Participation in Dance Workshop (Th 6:30 pm-8:00 pm) is highly recommended.

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

Electroacoustic Band Workshop (MPF4122.01)

This course is an open forum for research and development of live performance methodologies through collaborations involving electronic, electroacoustic, and acoustic sources. In this workshop, we will explore text scores, improvisation techniques using both acoustic and electronic sources. The research and practice areas include but are not limited to electroacoustic and audiovisual performance, non-Western and/or non-notated music performance, and creation of new music. We will incorporate transducers, audio processing, and control surfaces in our performative events. This course is for students who have previous experience in performing musical ideas with “tools” such as everyday objects, traditional acoustic instruments, and electronics. 

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.

SCT Advanced Work Preparation Module (SCT4104.04)

This one credit module is designed for students preparing to do advanced work in SCT during Fall 2020. In a series of workshops, students will work on formulating clear lines of inquiry and developing a research plan for their advanced work in SCT. Students will look at various examples of advanced work as presented by current seniors. Various SCT faculty members will present techniques for designing a research project. Students will meet with their section leaders to begin preparing for their senior work. Assessment will be based on the development of an individual research proposal with an initial bibliography.

(May 10, 17, 24)

David Bond
Sun 6:00-9:00 (Fourth Module Block)
This course is categorized as All courses, SCT.

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.

Senior Seminar in Society, Culture and Thought II (SCT4751.01)

This is the second half of the SCT senior seminar, designed as a venue for students to complete their advanced work. For most students, this seminar will focus on analyzing data collected for their senior work during the first term or during Field Work Term and using that analysis to complete their senior projects. Aside from a few shared readings, the bulk of what individuals read is directly the result of the research they do. Writing will take place throughout term, and students will receive feedback both from the instructor and from their peers in the course. Individual works and directions will be discussed and work-shopped in class.

Noah Coburn
W 2:10-5:50
This course is categorized as All courses, SCT.

Identities and Affinities (PHI4109.01)

Each of us has multiple social identities. We belong to different social groups and are categorized along various social dimensions. What is involved in being a member of a race, gender, class, nation, sexual affinity, ethnic, or religious group? Are these groups somehow “natural” or objectively real? Are these groups “social constructs”? What, ultimately, is the social world made of? Furthermore, do we have specific obligations based on our social identities? In this course, we will undertake a philosophical investigation of these and other questions regarding social identities. The course will have two main parts: (1) ontological – an inquiry into social reality and social kinds (2) ethical/political – an inquiry into the obligations that attach to social identities. We will use the methods of philosophical analysis, argument, and close reading. Likely course readings include works by: Linda Alcoff, Anthony Appiah, Gloria Anzaldúa, W.E.B du Bois, Jorge Gracia, Cressida Heyes, Ian Hacking, Sally Haslanger, Charles Mills, Ron Mallon, and Naomi Zack. 

Improvisation Ensemble for Musicians and Dancers (DAN4357.01)

This advanced course focuses on work in the performance of improvisation. For dancers, special attention is given to the development of individual movement vocabularies, physical contact and interaction, and the exploration of forms and structures.

For musicians, special attention is given to creating rhythms and sonorities which can then be manipulated and developed while interacting with dancers in the moment.

Dancers are expected to have experience with improvisation in performance and are asked to develop a structure for the group. Musicians should have basic skills on their instrument and be able create and convey a sense of form to other musicians in an efficient way.

**Both dancers and musicians will meet together on Mondays 3:40-5:30. Musicians will meet Wednesday 4:10-6:00. Dancers will meet Thursday 3:40-5:30.**

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.

Animation Projects (MA4202.01)

The course will be for sustained work on an animation or design project. Students will be expected to create a complete animation, or project. The expectation is that students will be fully engaged in all aspects of the class from critiques, to experimenting with ideas, undertaking research and being present. Locations may be explored for showing of work including investigating digital projections on different surfaces and forms. Animation students will work with sound effects and sound scores to complete their final animation.

Public showings will be required.

NGOs, Peacebuilding, and Development (SCT4109.01)

In the last thirty years, non-governmental organizations have played an outsized role in global affairs, perhaps most notably in development and peacebuilding processes. How did the NGO form develop, and why? How do NGOs interact with states, global institutions, and grassroots populations in the Global South? What effects – positive, negative, and complicated – have NGOs had on global affairs, and how are their roles changing in the 21st century? This course will critically examine the work of NGOs in peace and development around the world, with a concentration on Latin America. Students will use the lenses of political economy, social movement studies, and gender studies to examine various NGOs in order to better understand their complex dynamics, and apply their understanding to a critical analysis of a particular NGO. Students who have worked with NGOs in Field Work Term can expect to incorporate their experiences into the classroom.

Field Course in Coral Reef Biology (BIO4239.01)

Coral reefs are among the most diverse, unique and beautiful of ecosystems on the planet.  Alas, they are also quite vulnerable to various environmental assaults and most of the reefs on earth are in real jeopardy.  In order to gain a more robust understanding of reefs, we will study reefs on site in the Caribbean. Students will learn the taxonomy, identification and characteristics of the animals that live in coral reefs.  The course will take place on the island of Grand Cayman. Students will have an opportunity to become certified scuba divers and participate in ongoing research. Students will collect and analyze fish inventory data and submit those data to the environmental organization, REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation).  Students will be able to compare their data with prior research. We will also discuss reef ecology with Tim Austin a research scientists with the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment. We will also participate in a beach clean-up activity.

This course will be offered over FWT (Jan. 4-11, 2020). Credits earned will count towards the credit requirements for Spring 2020. Registered students will receive a partial waiver for the number of hours normally required during FWT. 

Additional costs will be associated with this course.

Animal Social Behavior (BIO4307.01)

E. O. Wilson has said that “the organism is simply DNA’s way of making more DNA”. Are the elaborate, bizarre, (at times flamboyant), energy requiring social systems of animals simply adaptations which permit those animals to reproduce? Why is there so much diversity among animal social systems? Why are most mammals polygynous and most birds monogamous? Can we make predictions about successful social strategies and test them in the field? Can we gain insight into human evolution by studying the social systems of non-human primates?

In this course we will consider the evolution and adaptedness of different social systems with particular attention to current models of the evolution of altruistic behavior. We will read and discuss current research from a variety of journals (topics include: cooperative breeding, parent-offspring conflict, siblicide, mate choice and sexual selection, sex ratios, hymenoptera social organization, evolution of primate mating systems, the significance of infanticide and maternal rank). Students will undertake their own research projects.

Comparative Animal Physiology (with lab) (BIO4201.01)

A rigorous course in which physiological processes of vertebrates and invertebrates are studied at the cellular, organ, organ system, and whole animal levels of organization. The unifying themes of the course are the phenomenon of homeostasis (whereby an animal maintains its organization in the face of environmental perturbations) and the relationship between structure and function. The student will examine these phenomena in the laboratory by dissection and physiological experimentation. Topics include digestion and nutrition, metabolism, gas exchange, circulation, excretion, and neurophysiology.

Chromophilia: Explorations in Color (VA4215.01)

Chromophilia, a term coined by contemporary artist David Batchelor, refers to intense passion and love for color. What is it about color that has the power to induce reverie, and conversely to manipulate, or disgust? How do we understand and respond to color from phenomenological, poetic, philosophical, and societal vantage points? How as artists can we become the master of our passionately-loved and yet ever-shifting chroma?

In this class, we look carefully at and discuss the work of many artists and the implications of color in their images. Wide-ranging readings from literature, philosophy, and cultural criticism, serve as a base for discussion and artistic response.

Visual work for the first weeks of class consists of color problems using cut paper; in subsequent weeks, students solve problems presented in class with painting, or any other color-abled media. Reading and written responses are assigned weekly. Class time is primarily used for discussion of texts, critique of visual work, and student presentations of research. Assignments are given throughout, however, it is the objective of this class to provide the skills necessary for the student to confidently pursue self-designed projects. A high degree of motivation is expected.

The Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro (LIT4291.01)

In the inscription for Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, the committee announced it had chosen to give him the award because his novels had “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.” In this class, we will read nearly all of these novels, beginning with Ishiguro’s first, A Pale View of These Hills, and including An Artist of the Floating World, The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans, Never Let Me Go, and The Buried Giant, as well as his collection of stories, Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. We will investigate Ishiguro’s constant reinvention of the novel, his approach to the confines of genre, and the ways in which Ishiguro has appropriated and subverted the notion of identity as subject. Throughout the term will also interrogate the ways in which Ishiguro has transformed the modern idea of the British novel, by analyzing his approach to race, gender identity, bio-ethics, and the long shadow of cultural memory. We will screen the film adaptations of his major work, and also consult his work as a screenwriter in The White Countess and The Saddest Music in the World. This is an advanced course intended for students with prior college-level coursework in literature.

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

Unhomely Thoughts from Abroad (SPA4605.01)

From Simón Bolívar’s recruitment of the exiled Francisco de Miranda in early nineteenth-century London, to the counter-revolutionary Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s Tres tristes tigres, written in a Hampstead flat, much of Latin America’s postcolonial identity has been forged outside its borders. Beyond defining home, exiles have defined their alternate environments. De Miranda’s statue still stands in Fitzroy Square, and Cabrera Infante lived in London for the rest of his life. Exile, whether a political necessity or voluntary, is more than a discursive conceit in this context, and language an act of memory.

The proposal is to study Latin America’s exilic thought, one of its most formative traditions, from Independence to the present. 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

In Sickness and In Health: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology (ANT4149.01)

In this course we will explore the social dimensions of medicine, the body, illness, health, healing, medical care and biotechnologies across societies and times from comparative, cross-cultural, ethnographic perspectives. We will examine the role of cultural differences in defining and dealing with health and illness and investigate health related factors that link humanity cross-culturally through common needs. If human experiences and understandings of illness, suffering, and healing are not objectively rooted in universal facts of biology or nature, how are they to be analyzed and understood? If the interaction between biology and culture depends on the context, what is the status of biomedicine? Can/should the biomedical model simply be regarded as one system of belief and practice among others? And how is the biomedical model embedded in a socioeconomic hierarchy that unevenly distributes health and healthcare between haves and have nots? We will pursue these questions in a global framework, drawing on ethnographies and critical essays that open up the field of medical anthropology.

Fashion and Modernism (VA4129.01)

“Let There Be Fashion, Down With Art” –Max Ernst

The rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution led to radical shifts in politics and art in the late 19th century. Fashion acts as a powerful analogue to and forecaster of Modernism. Artists such as Henri Matisse, Leon Bakst, Sonia Delaunay and Salvador Dali took note of fashion’s nascent agency and created clothing as a means of engaging the new political, social and cultural landscapes of the 20th Century. Influenced by Charles Baudelaire’s radical questioning of beauty and fashion, artists attempted to define fashion’s role in culture, manipulating it to reflect their own proclivities. This course will introduce and reconsider various movements such as Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, and Surrealism through the lens of fashion, investigating the various agendas and ideologies deployed. Students will create artworks that engage the political spectrum as it intersects with Modernism’s aesthetic partisanship, including the creation of original garments. While this is a studio course, there will be weekly reading assignments and discussion as well as critiques. Students may work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, or costume design. A high degree of motivation is expected. 

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.

Intermediate Painting: Facture (PAI4106.01)

“Facture refers to the manner in which a painting, drawing, or object is made. It is the combination of brushstrokes, marks, material, and the texture of the surface. Facture is critical to the success of any object. Much of the fascination that accrues to all manual media comes from what can be observed at close range. That distance reveals the foundation, the touch, the sensuality, and the understanding of the material that gives art objects their essential character.” -Kit White, 101 Things to Learn in Art School

Behind the impulse to put paint on canvas is a search for meaning. As an artwork comes into being, its meaning(s) evolve concurrently. Concentrating on the establishment of a rigorous artistic practice, this course will focus on the relationship between facture and meaning in painting. Sharpening practical and critical skills, assignments will investigate the processes and methods of painting from practical and theoretical perspectives. Questions to be considered might include: How does the painter’s knowledge of craft inform the way they paint? Is technique knowledge or behavior? What is the role of labor? Readings, critiques and studio projects will serve to create a constructive and lively dialogue in the classroom.

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 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. 6:30pm ~8pm)

Senior Projects (MPF4226.01)

This course will serve as a forum for technical planning and feedback for seniors scheduling a musical show or installation in Spring 2020. The majority of work for any senior show will be expected to be composed and/or collected by the beginning of the term. Students will be required to pick an advisor from appropriate music faculty to advise their particular projects as they develop. The course will introduce students to the challenges of sound design, drama, and visuals within a multi-disciplinary college community, and in creating successful collaborations, rehearsals, and techs.

Dancer as Maker (DAN4149.01)

Dancers working presently in the contemporary, experimental dance world do so in relation to the historical definitions of “the dancer,” all while deconstructing and recontextualizing its meaning. Dancers are makers in their own right inside choreographic structures. In this course, we will work with specific choreographic structures and scores, and use them as a frame to help understand how we participate in the process of making.  We will look at the choices we make as we help shape the choreography and performance. We will look at how we, as whole people, interact with the material. We will work with approaches to employing technical skill and elements such as movement quality and relationship to space, exploring our personal agency and presence.  As a final project we will study the efforts of a few dancers working presently in the contemporary experimental dance realm with major choreographers. We will be learning their choreographed material and also charting their perceived methods for engaging in and performing the work. We will be asking questions like: What was their training model? What influenced their work? How did they integrate themselves into the whole concept?

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

Theory of Impressionism (MTH4112.01)

This seminar will look at works by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, as well as by Erik Satie, Les Six, Fauré, and diverse U.S. composers at the turn of the 20th century. We will start by looking at Debussy’s Preludes as a microcosm of his harmonic style, and then analyze major orchestral works. Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin, String Quartet, and select songs will also be analyzed. Students will be expected to write analyses of short works, and to contextualize the innovations of Debussy and Ravel within the complex literary and visual styles of fin-de-siècle France. This course will have special assignments for those who wish to explore advanced harmonic analyses of these works. Students must be able to read notation fluently.

Piano Lab II (MIN4236.01)

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 (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 (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).

Cup Lending Library (CER4108.01)

All art is a form of communication. The ceramic cup is unusual in that it communicates, perhaps best, through touch. The Cup Lending Library is designed to facilitate this kind of communication on our campus. In this course, students will curate and make cups for a Cup Lending Library to be permanently installed in Crossett Library. The Cup Lending Library will act as an introduction to ceramic artists, handmade cups, and will provide cups for use on campus for community events or personal use. The cups in this library collection will include cups curated from national artists and the best examples of Bennington student work. Over the course of the term, students will refine and remake their cups while researching historical and contemporary examples. Early in the class, we will investigate non-traditional collections and lending in libraries. Students will work together to formulate a plan for curating cups including selection criteria, quantity, and budget. Students will conduct research into the artists represented in the collection and this will be compiled into a written document that will accompany each piece. At the end of the term, students will determine the best way to introduce the campus community to this collection. The course will consist of 2, 2-hour sessions with the first being a lecture/ seminar class in the library followed by a hands-on class in the ceramics studio.

Shorter Songs (MTH4110.01)

What elements set certain composers apart from their contemporaries? In any genre, there are those who “raise the bar” and gain respect both for being prolific and breaking traditions of harmony and form. Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter took his cue from ground-breaking composers before him such as Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk, helping to create new directions in jazz while being a member of the bands Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis Quintet and Weather Report in the 1960s and 1970s. We will examine many of the songs written for these groups, as well as those written for his many albums as a leader (for Blue Note Records), looking at his unique way of combining melody, harmony and rhythm. Students will also be encouraged to compose and arrange “short” songs, using some of the techniques learned. Compositions will be performed in Music Workshop.

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).

Advanced Jazz Piano (MIN4240.01)

Weekly private instruction in jazz piano offered to experienced pianists interested in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to play various non-classical styles. Areas covered: chord-voicings, chord-scales, reharmonization of chord progressions and stylistic approaches to improvisation (both melodically and rhythmically).

Clarinet (MIN4223.01)

Study of clarinet technique and repertoire with an emphasis on tone production, dexterity, reading skills, and improvisation. This course is for intermediate-advanced students only.

Corequisites: Students will be requested to show work during the term at Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8 pm).

Saxophone (MIN4237.01)

Study of saxophone technique and standard repertoire (jazz or classical), with an emphasis on tone production, dexterity, reading skills, and improvisation. This course is for intermediate-advanced students only.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (T 6:30pm-8:00pm)

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 Tuesday 6:30-8PM

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 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

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 Tuesday 6:30-8PM

 

Thomas Bogdan
Tu 10:30-12:20
This course is categorized as All courses, Voice.

Movement Practice: Advanced Dance Technique (DAN4344.01)

This 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.

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

The Musical “Other”: Exoticism, Appropriation, and Multiculturalism (MHI4131.01)

How has the cultural “Other” been represented in Western music? How can composers and performers create with a clear conscience and use source material ethically? We will examine a large repertory of works from the early Baroque period through the Twenty-first century, investigating the uses and abuses of non-Western musical sources. Beyond the classics, we’ll talk about mid-century exotica music, gaming, World’s Fairs, the Eurovision song contest, Hollywood soundtracks, Broadway musicals, pop music, and jazz. We will discuss the World Music industry, crate diggers and sampling, reissues of “lost” world music on vinyl, and contemporary ways of consuming and listening to music. We’ll dig into concepts like Orientalism, exoticism, a la Turca, Chinoiserie, appropriation, and many more. Exploring each composition within its own cultural, political, and musical context, we will attempt to answer certain key questions: why was it written and for whom? Does the composition foster understanding between different cultures or reinforce racial and ethnic stereotypes? What sorts of power relations are inherent in the composition, production, and reception of these musical works? This course is open to students from all areas of study.

Balkan Ensemble (MPF4204.01)

Balkan music is fierce brass, complex harmonies, and mind-bending asymmetrical dances. It is spirited Serbian wedding music, dissonant village songs, devastating Bosnian love ballads, saucy songs of the Greek underworld, and heart-pounding Turkish rhythms. In the Bennington Balkan Ensemble, we will learn to perform a variety of traditional, urban, village, and popular music from Southeast Europe. Singing and playing indigenous, orchestral, and electronic instruments, we’ll explore repertoire from Albania, Greece, Bosnia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosova, Turkey, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. Student, faculty and staff singers and instrumentalists of all types (strings, percussion, woodwinds, brass, etc.) are welcome in this ensemble.  Be prepared to sing, play, improvise, and dance.  Audition and instructor approval required.

Corequisites: Participation and performance at Music Workshop T 6:30-8:00

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).

Bennington Plays: Playwrights (DRA4163.01)

This project-based class is for playwrights engaged in the process and techniques of rewriting and staging their plays. The majority of rewrites may happen prior to the semester, but substantial rewrites could emerge as essential during the production period. Collaborating with the director, actors, and designers will be the heart of this class.

Playwrights are expected to also serve as collective support for the other playwrights whose plays are being produced. In addition to the 4 plays receiving production, up to 6 other plays will receive staged readings as part of the festival.

We will meet as a group at least once a week, on Monday night, with the other nights designated for individual rehearsals. Playwrights will attend Production Meetings and outside Design meetings. Rehearsals culminate in public performances of multiple works staged in workshop productions supported by minimal design. Playwrights will also write a post-performance reflective essay.

Sherry Kramer
M/T/W/Th/F 7:00-10:00 (with some weekend rehearsals)
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama.

Paris on Screen: Tradition and Modernity (FRE4498.01)

In this intermediate-low level course, we will study the representation of the city of Paris on film in order to examine modernityʹs challenges to tradition. In particular, we will focus on the question of how urban communities and city dwellers react to increasing disconnectedness, anonymity, and solitude. Films may include Tanguy, La Haine, Chacun cherche son chat, Paris, Playtime, Monsieur Ibrahim, and Paris, je tʹaime. Class discussions, activities, written assignments, and oral presentations will allow students to improve their linguistic proficiency and analytical skills. Conducted in French. Intermediate‐low level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Stephen Shapiro
M/Th 10:00-11:50
This course is categorized as All courses, French.

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

Avant Garde Art in China (CHI4507.01)

Art is always somehow a reflection of the culture and society in which it is produced. In this class we will explore the ways in which contemporary (post-Mao) Chinese art reflects on modern Chinese culture and society. Each class or every other class, students will be given a packet with visual and written information on a particular work of art with a vocabulary list and grammar points for that material. Documentaries will also be used as a source of authentic input. Students will be expected to prepare to discuss the material in Chinese with the teacher and classmates during the next class meeting.

Corequisites: Language Series

Confucianism vs. Daoism (CHI4402.01)

The Twenty-four Stories of Filial Piety are well known Chinese stories that exemplify the devotion of children to their parents that is the chief virtue in Confucianism. The Daoist Tales of Zhuangzi, on the other hand, offer a much different set of values. These tales “translated” from classical Chinese into modern Mandarin at the student’s language level will serve as a starting point for an exploration into two complementary and competing schools of thought that have shaped the character and culture of the Chinese. Students will learn basic vocabulary and grammar through a four-skills approach while comparing and contrasting the basic concepts of these two important Chinese philosophies.

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

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

Comics/Culture (SPA4401.01)

What are comics? Why study them? What do they have to do with Spanish culture? Students in this course will consider the theoretical and artistic concerns for graphic narratives, especially in the interaction between text and image. We will examine the gradual evolution of the so-called historieta from its historical relegation to the realm of the juvenile and lowbrow, to the more recent boom in the academic and critical legitimacy of graphic novels. Our exploration will encompass comic strips, cartoons, and graphic novels from Spain, critical analyses, articles about the art form, as well as films and works of literature inspired by comics. Throughout, we will investigate what these media expose about, and how they simultaneously influence, the cultures from which they emerge. The focus of the course will be on student-generated discussion and critical thinking about these media, but continual practice in all four major areas of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) will be essential. Students will learn to defend their own ideas in spoken and written language. We will explore grammatical and linguistic questions as they arise naturally in the classroom. Conducted in Spanish. Co-requisite: attendance at 2 language events. Intermediate-low level.

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

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.

Analyzing the Social Issues in Japan Through Online News (JPN4601.01)

The course is designed for students to deepen their understanding of Japanese language and culture through analysis of Japanese online newspapers and examination of Japanese news articles from various contexts. Students will practice various reading strategies, which will help them become independent learners. Mass media is the reflection of a society and the mirror of a culture. Therefore, reading Japanese newspapers helps students to become more aware of the Japanese culture, which is reflected in newspaper articles. Students are required not only to conduct research in their fields of interest, such as politics, economics, and films, but also to create newspaper articles for local Japanese people. High-Intermediate Level. Conducted in Japanese.

Corequisites: Language Series

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.

Advanced Butoh Practice-Body as Landscape (DAN4139.01)

This course is designed for students with prior experience in dance technique or movement practice. By using a series of somatic, improvisational and compositional practices inspired by butoh, we will develop ways of embodying unorthodox and complex ideas dealing with the ever-becoming, inconsumable, and vaporizing body. Students will be encouraged to closely observe and keep their awareness open toward what is occurring in both outer and inner landscapes, aiming at composing new relationships between them. In this way, we work to maximize our perceptions and to control the subtle energy and expression of each body part.

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

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 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: Participation and performance in Music Workshop Tuesday 6:30-8PM

Improvisation Ensemble for Musicians and Dancers (MPF4233.01)

This advanced course focuses on work in the performance of improvisation. For dancers, special attention is given to the development of individual movement vocabularies, physical contact and interaction, and the exploration of forms and structures.

For musicians, special attention is given to creating rhythms and sonorities which can then be manipulated and developed while interacting with dancers in the moment.

Dancers are expected to have experience with improvisation in performance and are asked to develop a structure for the group. Musicians should have basic skills on their instrument and be able create and convey a sense of form to other musicians in an efficient way.

**Both dancers and musicians will meet together on Mondays 3:40-5:30. Musicians will meet Wednesday 4:10-6:00. Dancers will meet Thursday 3:40-5:30.**

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.

Discrimination and Audit Studies (SOC4105.01)

In the first half of term, we will examine various definitions of discrimination, and methods of measuring discrimination, identifying advantages and pitfalls of each. We will read studies examining discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and criminal record. Students will research the ways in which Supreme Court cases have contributed to legal and sociological conceptualizations of discrimination. In the second half of the course, students will work in pairs or small groups to design and implement an email-based experimental audit study measuring a form of discrimination of their choice. Each pair or group will produce a final research paper, modeled after an academic journal article, in which they will detail the findings of their audit study and contextualize these within the relevant literature. Students will deliver their papers in the form of professional conference-style presentations at the end of term. Prior coursework in research methods and/or social statistics is highly recommended for this class.

Topics In Video: Experimental Documentary (FV4236.01)

This course explores documentary possibilities through screenings and video projects. The class will look at and consider non-fiction techniques from early cinema verite films to recent attempts to address point of view and outsider status in documentary and experimental video work. In collaborative and individual projects, the class will take a hands-on approach to documentary production: addressing interview techniques, cinematography, story structures, metaphor, archival film use and a range of editing and presentation techniques – including installations. We will also work on our ability to develop relationships and to gain access to subjects outside our usual circles.

I am a Material (SCU4112.02)

What is a more valuable piece of matter? Could it be something that will degrade in this art world and be okay? String, cotton-balls and rubber bands may be what should be affixed to your unique prosthetic to complete a task given.

This course will cover information and techniques related to body casting, wire rope rigging, fabricating, building processes and encourage personal material resourcing. This is a project based performance course in which you will have problems set to define and complete. Your found solution will be evaluated on how thoroughly you analyzed the task, by way of experimentation of intent represented in prototyping and drawings, as well as showing a final function.

Delights of Ephemera (VA4128.01)

This course invites students to consider the pleasure and significance of ephemera—cards, posters, invitations, and other written or printed materials—in the context of art exhibitions and events. Readings, lectures and field trips cover topics including traditional and experimental forms of ephemera; the collection of ephemera; and the function of ephemera as historical document and work of art. With an eye on conceptual and formal relationships between the ephemeral product and the event it represents, students during the term will design three pieces of ephemera responding to an exhibition from history; an exhibition in Usdan Gallery; and a proposed exhibition of works from their own practice.

Bennington Review: A Practicum in Literary Editing and Publishing-Poetry (LIT4330.02, section 2)

This two-credit course involves working on selecting and editing the content of Bennington’s recently relaunched national print literary magazine, Bennington Review. Students will serve as Editorial Assistants for the magazine, studying and practicing all aspects of magazine editing. The course will also engage students in discussions of contemporary print and digital literary culture, and of the history of literary magazines. Students will be selected in part based on their familiarity with contemporary literature, as well as for prior experience in editing or publishing. Students should anticipate plenty of work for two credits, as well as an immersive, hands-on, professional experience.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend all Wednesday Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events.

Bennington Review: A Practicum in Literary Editing and Publishing-Prose (LIT4330.01, section 1)

This two-credit course involves working on selecting and editing the content of Bennington’s recently relaunched national print literary magazine, Bennington Review. Students will serve as Editorial Assistants for the magazine, studying and practicing all aspects of magazine editing. The course will also engage students in discussions of contemporary print and digital literary culture, and of the history of literary magazines. Students will be selected in part based on their familiarity with contemporary literature, as well as for prior experience in editing or publishing. Students should anticipate plenty of work for two credits, as well as an immersive, hands-on, professional experience.

Reading & Writing Fiction: Plot and Suspense (LIT4144.01)

What is plot? What are stakes and how are they raised and can a story or a novel still compel a reader with small or smaller stakes? What is dramatic tension and what are the other ways a writer can build tension into a short story or a chapter? What, in other words, keeps a reader turning pages through a story or a novel and what happens when these same tools are applied to literary fiction? We’ll explore these questions and other questions of plot and plotting while reading fiction from ZZ Packer, Sally Rooney, Maggie Shipstead, Patricia Highsmith, Donna Tart, Andrea Lawlor, George Saunders, Patrick DeWitt, Jim Shepard, among others. The course will consist of close readings of published work alongside workshop of student submitted work.

Corequisites: Enrolled students are required to attend Wednesday night Bennington literary events.

Reading and Writing: Hybrid-Genre Works (LIT4140.01)

We will read and discuss an array of hybrid-genre works or writing that combines and coalesces two or more genres: poetry, fiction, criticism, and/or memoir. Some books will also cross media incorporating painting, photography, and film. Reading works by Rosa Alcalá, Dao Strom, Douglas Kearney, Mary-Kim Arnold, Evie Shockley, Elizabeth Powell, Tan Lin, Bhanu Kapil, and others, we will consider how drawing upon different prose, verse, and multi-media modes can complement and augment the way we shape our personal and political stories. Students will complete writing assignments each week designed to build toward a hybrid-genre work. Students will give and receive critique in a workshop environment, expand approaches to drafting, and revise your writing for the final assignment.

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

Reading and Writing Literary Journalism (LIT4141.01)

With the practice of journalism undergoing its most profound changes since the invention of the television, this course will steep students in the traditions of criticism, literary non-fiction, reporting and cultural journalism that thrived during the golden age of print and have persisted in the Internet era. We’ll work our way through literary criticism from Robert Boswell to Virginia Woolf and from Lionel Trilling to Zadie Smith; we’ll trace how notions of authority in cultural journalism changed from the objective to the subjective and how the New Journalism of the 1960s and 1970s combined facts and research with creative sensibility and author’s voice. Students will discover for themselves through frequent writing assignments and workshops just how porous the boundaries are between traditional reporting, reviewing, profile writing, and more experimental forms like lyric essay. We’ll also listen closely to some of the most influential and innovative podcasts to create an anatomy of their appeal. Expect to read a whole host of literary journalists past and present including George Orwell, Rebecca West, Pauline Kael, Tete-Michel Kpomassie, Janet Malcolm, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Katherine Boo, Alex Tizou, Jia Tolentino, Alexis Madrigal.

Corequisites: Students in this class are required to attend Literature evenings on Wednesday nights, including Poetry at Bennington events. All students may apply for multiple 4000-level Reading and Writing Courses in the same term, but, once accepted, may only enroll in one 4000-level Reading and Writing course per term.

Digital Materiality (MS4101.01)

“The cloud” is not in the sky, but is comprised of thousands of securitized data centers and fiber optic networks that span continents. Undersea cables still carry nearly all internet traffic that travels across oceans. How can we critically analyze these massive systems that are often either invisible or too large to see all at once? This course will explore the materiality of digital media and their infrastructures. We will read key works in media history, media archaeology, and related fields to trace the life cycle of digital devices, from mineral extraction and industrial production to the carbon footprint of consumer usage and digital technology’s afterlife as e-waste. As we delve into the prehistories and possible futures of digital technology, we will also consider the work of designers, engineers, and artists who help us think creatively about digital media, whether from the perspective of deep-time, or in speculations on post-digital media and data.

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.

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

Music Composition Intensive (MCO4695.01)

This is a course for students who want to work in a concentrated way on their (usually notated) compositions, and to take their work to a more developed and ambitious level. They are expected to produce a substantial amount of work, often in longer forms and with more varied instrumentation than previously attempted. Students are put into small groups to pursue their individual composition projects. Scheduling is done at the beginning of the term.

 

Chemistry 2: Organic Structure and Bonding (with Lab) (CHE4212.01)

Building on our understanding of the relationship between molecular structural and reactivity developed in Chemistry 1, this course delves into modern theories of bonding, especially as they relate to the reaction patterns of functional groups.  These theories will be used to rationalize the patterns of electron flow in chemical reactions with a focus on the understanding of why mechanistic patterns emerge and we will and develop an understanding for how chemists determine mechanisms experimentally.   Addition, substitution, elimination and acid base reactions that underpin the reactivity of organic molecules will receive considerable attention.  We will also interact with the primary (and secondary) chemical literature in this course to deepen our understanding of the fundamentals and significance of the chemistry we study.

Corequisites: Lab

Biochemistry (CHE4335.01)

Biochemistry is an intermediate chemistry course in which students apply principles from general and organic chemistry, as well as general biology, to understand the molecular processes that characterize life. Biochemistry is a broad discipline that is growing rapidly in its scope – new developments and discoveries are being made daily. The goal of this class will be to give students a solid background with which they can appreciate the latest developments and research reports. We will begin with fundamental principles, but quickly move into a detailed look at metabolism – the specific means by which organisms use chemical energy to drive cell functions and how they convert simple molecules to complex biological molecules. This approach will provide a context to illustrate many of the core ideas we will cover. Students will also have the opportunity for independent work which will allow them to apply these ideas to topics of their own specific interests. Students will have weekly review assignments and at least two independent projects, including an oral presentation of a final project.

Strategies for Sustainability: Living Life as an Artist (DAN4143.01)

We have consistently seen that artists are lacking certain skill sets, tools and resources that would empower and strengthen their ability to create work, develop personal stability and envision longevity in a realistic way. How can we approach these issues in a holistic way that addresses the person and well as the artist? This course covers a range of topics that addresses the ability to create a quality of life, share access to resources, and redefine concepts of success. This class is open to artists in all artistic disciplines.

Covered topics include:
Healthcare
Financial Literacy
Housing | Homeownership
Artist Statements | Mission
Fundraising | Grant writing | Residencies
Personal Wellness
Time Management
Conflict Resolution
Principles for building a sustainable life
Artist Advocacy
Developing and sharing strategies and models

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

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. Dance Workshop is required.

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

Bennington Plays: Design (DRA4129.01)

This project-based class is for designers developing and implementing scenic, lighting, or costume designs for productions of new student written plays. Teams of directors and designers will work with other students in corresponding courses for playwrights, directors and actors, who are participating in the Bennington Plays Festival.

In a laboratory atmosphere, we will collaboratively develop an overall design approach for the festival, as well as specific designs for each play (either individually or collectively). Richard MacPike (Technical Instructor in Costume Production) will provide guidance and mentoring to costume designers. Particular attention will be placed on collaboration and communication between designers and directors, but also among and between all participants. Designers will meet once a week on Monday evenings and also attend drama production meetings on Mondays from 5:45-6:45 pm, through the performances in early to mid May. Students will also write a post-performance reflective essay.

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.

Spatial Audio Practices (MSR4051.01)

This course will offer an introduction to the principles of spatial audio and its function in creative sound practices. The topics will include multichannel audio, Ambisonics and binaural sound, 360 spatial audio recording and mixing, sound design for VR, and immersive electroacoustic music. Along with readings and discussions, we will look at various current sound practices that explore the possibilities of spatial audio. There will be an emphasis on production and experiential learning through exercises and workshops. This course is for students who have previous experience in sound recording practices and/or e-music.

Unique Prints: 3-D Prints and Modular Works (PRI4272.01)

This course is an introduction to unique prints, or prints that are not necessarily printed as an edition. We will emphasize the making of mixed media prints using a broad range of methods from monotypes to digital prints. The class is structured around a series of projects where rigorous experimentation is encouraged.

Students will learn various non-typical printmaking methods through a straightforward format of demonstrations of techniques, hands-on experience, and critiques. Techniques will include monotype, polyester laser plates, and various transfer techniques. Additionally, we will explore the possibilities of 3-dimentional applications for prints. This can include anything from books, paper cups, matchbooks, modular installations, appropriated prints and wallpapers. We may also be collaborating on projects with other classes or universities.

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.)

Abstract Algebra (MAT4144.01)

This course will be organized around two main themes. One will be the analysis of symmetries, in particular the symmetries of tiling patterns and crystals. The other will be classical polynomial algebra, in particular the analysis of the extent to which polynomial equations may be solved explicitly (and what that means). The relevant mathematical topics are what are known as group theory and Galois theory. Our treatment of group theory will be fairly abstract, while the treatment of polynomial algebra and Galois theory will be very concrete, classical, and historically motivated.

Linear Algebra (MAT4115.01)

Together with calculus, linear algebra is one of the foundations of higher level mathematics and its applications. This course is necessary for students concentrating in mathematics, is strongly recommended for students intending to study computer science, physics, or geology, and may be useful for students in economics or biology. This course is a prerequisite for Multivariable Calculus and Electromagnetism. There are several perspectives one can take on linear algebra: it is a method for handling large systems of equations, it is a theory of higher dimensional geometry, and it is a theoretical construct that appears throughout mathematics and physics, among other things. Applications of linear algebra, (some of which will be covered in the class), include correlation coefficients and linear regression in statistics, finite element methods in physics and engineering, interaction networks and clade analysis in biology, and google page rank, error-correcting, and data compression in computing. The course will also set students up for more advanced applications in quantum mechanics, fourier analysis, and number theory.

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.

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.

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.

English Restoration and 18th Century Drama (LIT4240.01)

This class will explore English drama of the Restoration and 18th century, with a focus on the structure and conventions of the comedy of manners. During the Restoration, the cavaliers of Charles II’s court promoted an ethos of sophisticated debauchery, fueled by the Hobbesian social currency of wit and power. Within this world of masks, mirrors, and modes, playwrights—including “female wits” such as Aphra Behn—both celebrated and skewered the artifices of their society, while creating daring roles for the women newly permitted to appear on the English stage. We will explore how playwrights, in works ranging from The Country Wife to She Stoops to Conquer, utilized an array of narrative and linguistic devices to reflect themes of deception and disguise. This bawdy arsenal of wit included repartee, epigrams and double entendres; direct address and audience asides; stock characters such as the rake and the fop; and the plot ‘stratagems’ of beaux and belles alike. Encompassing plays by Wycherley, Etherege, Vanbrugh, Congreve, Behn, Pix, Farquhar, Centlivre, Goldsmith, Cowley, and Sheridan, the class will also place the comedy of manners in comparative context with other Restoration and 18th century forms, including the comedy of intrigues, heroic drama, and cross currents in opera seria and ballad opera.

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.

Bennington Plays (DRA4151.01)

This project-based class is for directors and actors engaged in the process and techniques of analyzing, exploring, and staging (original) works of theater. “Teams” of Director & Cast work in collaboration with corresponding courses for student playwrights and designers whose work has been chosen for participation in the Bennington Plays Festival. Directors will be chosen through a proposal / vetting process. Actors will be cast through audition. Projects will have a preferred running time somewhere between 20 -50 minutes.

In a laboratory atmosphere we will investigate the process of realizing a text’s dramatic potential and nurturing that potential through the use of various analysis and rehearsal techniques, designed to help bring a new play to life. Particular attention will be placed on developing strong skills of communication which allow for a vibrant collaboration between the actors and director, with the playwright as they continue to refine and develop their emergent scripts, and with the design team as they realize for the first time the world of this new play.

Everyone meets Wednesday afternoon with additional meetings on weeknights, to be determined.

Jennifer Rohn and Dina Janis
W 2:10-5:50 & Weeknights (to be determined) 7:00-10:00 (times added as of 11/20/19)
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama, Updates.

The Art of Literary Translation (LIT4319.01)

It may well be that the closest, most interpretative, and creative reading of a text involves translating it from one language to another. Questions of place, culture, epoch, voice, gender, and rhythm take on new urgency, helping us to deepen our writerly skills and sensibilities. As Joseph Brodsky put it: “You must memorize poems, do translation, study foreign languages. And the best way to study a foreign language…is by translating a poem…The music of the poem carries you, you float upon waves of sound, but, at the same time, you peer below the surface of the ocean, and there, in the depths, you notice the teeming life of sea creatures…”

Writers in all genres are welcome to explore this “teeming life” that is the fruit of literary translation. Our workshop has a triple focus: comparing and contrasting existing translations of the same work; reading translators on the art and theory of translation; and critiquing students’ translations-in-progress. We will also consider translation as an act of bearing witness to cultural and political crisis, and as a means of encoding messages that would otherwise be censored.

For a final project, you will have two options: an extended critical study or an original translation (poetry, prose, drama) accompanied by an introduction. There will also be weekly reading assignments and research presentations.

The Invention of the 19th Century: A seminar on Honoré de Balzac (LIT4329.01)

Oscar Wilde liked to say that Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) invented the 19th century. The Human Comedy (La Comédie Humaine) comprises approximately 3,000 characters in a total of 92 novels, sketches, stories, and philosophical tales. For the first time in the history of the novel, characters recur—a star of one book may reappear as a minor figure in the intricate social background of another. “Real life is the life of causes,” wrote this giant of world literature. What does Balzac mean by a cause? It is an idea, a dream, an obsession, a project demanding strategies and conspiracies, lingos and lies, histories and myths. Balzac has been called “a nocturnal Homer,” haunting the theatres, bars, streets, shops, and businesses in the Paris and provinces of his day. “I have learnt more from Balzac than from all the professional historians, economists and statisticians put together,” wrote Marxist theoriest Friedrich Engels. A master at rendering the visible world, Balzac was also obsessed with portraying the hidden desires, ambitions, and yearnings of a society in the throes of tectonic change. The Comedy, though full of fact, is not chronological, causing contemporary critics to liken it to a “mobile,” pre-figuring the narrative experiments of the 20th century.

Psychology of Creativity: Making and Using Metaphors (PSY4226.01)

This course will address two large areas in the psychology of creativity: (1) special creativity, that is, the study of creative persons and the specific characteristics of high-level creative thinkers. We will look at how creativity is measured, what personal characteristics or life circumstances seem to foster creative achievement, and the contributions of history in making decisions about who is creative and who is not. (2) general creativity, or the ordinary experience of creativity in everyday life. We will look at metaphoric and figurative language, how it is used and understood, and other experiences of normal creative leaps made by all human thinkers.

Songs in the Key of Wonder (MTH4148.01)

Songs in the key of Wonder is a songwriting seminar based on the classic 1976 release “Songs in the Key of Life” by Stevie Wonder. Students will listen to select tracks while learning the melodies and chord progressions that Mr. Wonder used in composing this landmark album. Students will also listen to select tracks from Mr. Wonder’s multiple hit songs from his extended discography. We will dissect and analyze the music using theory and form and analysis while paying special attention to the arranging that was used in his recordings and performances. We will also look at other contemporary artists influenced by Mr. Wonder’s style such as, Prince, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, and Janelle Monáe, to name a few. By the second half of the term students will use these progressions to create and arrange their own original songs and compositions in the style of Stevie Wonder. An end of term showing is expected but not required.

Bebop, Rock & Beyond (Fundamentals) (MIN4226.01)

Bebop, Rock & Beyond (Fundamentals) is a drum set course that looks at the drumming architects of Bebop and Rock while discovering the innovative drummers of today who are mapping traditional rhythms from various cultures and adapting them for drumset. We’ll learn about Ed Blackwell, Art Blakey, Alex Acuna, Ignacio Berroa, John Bonham, Daphnis Prieto, Steve Jordan, and many others who have contributed to the innovation and music composition for drumset. Students will be tasked with working out rhythmic patterns through frequent practice (Lab), work on reading music notation, and advance their analyzing skills while responding to viewing and listening list. Maintenance and tuning are key components to understanding the sonic qualities of a drumset. Students will be tasked with maintenance and maintaining a controlled rehearsal and storage environment as well. A written statement outlining your strengths and areas that need development, in addition to what you’d like to accomplish from this class is required for consideration.

Failure (CS4129.01)

Why do systems fail? How do we determine what went wrong? How do we learn from failure to build better systems and prevent similar problems from occurring in the future? In this course we will examine a variety of ways that software and hardware systems can fail, their causes, impacts and (where applicable) remediation. We will learn about tools and techniques that can be used to debug, analyze and simulate failures, and will conduct a series of experiments where we will observe various forms of failure. The course, its content and direction will be, to some extent, determined by participants’ skills and interests.

Cello (MIN4355.01)

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

Corequisites: Music Workshop attendance 7 times per term.

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

Ethnographic Playwriting (APA4120.01)

This course takes an ethnographic approach to making new theater works within community collaborations. This course is about engaging your most adventurous artist self in the context of delicate, politically loaded, dialogic processes. We will read, watch and discuss the work of subculture theorists, architects, theater-makers and other artists, all of whom use staged conversations as an element of their work, either in finished form or in process. We will talk about step-by- step processes for building trust among colleagues and community members, balancing an artistically unified voice with real co-authorship, and leading a process through partnership. Another focus of the course will be on how to successfully reach desired publics with works. Ultimately, students will take what we do in class and create original in-progress works of live performance using ethnographic methods, and socially-engaged aesthetic and ethical considerations.

**For registration please fill out this form

How to Think Like a Data Scientist (CS4115.01)

This class will cover the methods used to gather, clean, normalize, visualize, and analyze quantitative data to inform decision making in multiple fields of study. We will use spreadsheets, SQL and Python to work on real-world datasets using a combination of procedural and basic machine-learning algorithms. Students will also learn to ask good, exploratory questions and develop metrics to come up with a well thought-out analysis through work on collaborative, practical projects. This course is offered as part of a collaborative project with Google to expand access to computer science curriculum at small colleges and universities.

Finding Form: Dance (DAN4319.01)

Looking at forms found in nature, architecture, music, drama, literature, etc., we search for examples to help formulate ideas and structures for movement-based creation. When making new artwork, we are constantly balancing and integrating the need for exploratory freedom and the desire for structural integrity.  How do we use spontaneous impulse to help find form, and how do we use form to help find yet more unexpected solutions? How might we find an essential core that supports an investigation? How might we challenge and rigorously expand our ideas regarding form, and find ways to re-form?

Students are expected to make new movement material, develop work outside of class, teach some of the work to others, and, in return, learn material from others. They will show their compositional studies regularly, write about many aspects involved in their working processes, and draw (while observing others and while working in their own studio practices). Projects will be performed/presented in studio showings or dance workshops. Students of intermediate/advanced level in the performing and/or visual arts are welcome.

Participation in Dance Workshop  (Th 6:30-7:50 pm) is highly recommended.

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

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.

Directing I: The Director’s Vision (DRA4332.01)

What is action? What is character? What are gesture, timing, rhythm and stakes? How do actors, playwrights, and directors collaborate to create an experience in space and time? This seminar offers young theater artists the chance to examine the craft from the inside out.

Throughout the course everyone participates in all exercises and assignments. Non-writers make up stories, non-actors act, and those who have never directed direct. We begin by exploring the energy in the body, focusing on stillness and release, and the body in relationship to space. We continue with physical exercises from both the eastern and western traditions leading into improvisation as a method for tapping the source of impulses. We touch on the Viewpoints as a tool for creating kinetic compositions spontaneously in space. In the text analysis section, we study the expression of action through structure, imagery, dialogue, and the importance of “events.” By mid-term, everyone directs a short scene from one Chekhov play, or another play of our choosing. In the second half of the term, students choose one contemporary play from which they will direct individual scenes. Directors and actors will work together to rehearse, design, and present a public performance of the play.

100 Experiments (PHO4131.01)

This course is a hands-on exploration of the many photographic materials spanning the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Over the term, students will study ten specific processes and be asked to create ten 8×10 inch experiments utilizing each one. Processes include camera lucida drawings, pinhole images, cyanotypes, analog color negatives, Polaroid images, scanograms, digital infrared capture, among others. Historical and contemporary practitioners will be introduced as well as relevant readings.

Interested students must have completed the Photo Foundations and preferably one additional studio photography class.

Observations: Photography and the Environment (PHO4113.01)

This class explores the many ways photographers have shifted our understanding of the global environment, from documentary projects to collaborative interventions completed over the past 50 years. In addition to studying the works of Ansel Adams, Robert Adams, Mary Mattingly, Trevor Paglen, there will be assigned readings by Elizabeth Kolbert and John McPhee. Students will also learn how to use the school’s digital and analog cameras to observe the man-altered landscape of this region of North America. Field trips scheduled throughout the term.

Women in Science: Ancient Greece to Enlightenment (HIS4110.01)

Long before the existence of a discipline we would recognize as “science,” there were women working with men in the pursuit of “scientia”. Scientia embraced a mixture of philosophy, medicine, religion, literature, and knowledge of the natural world – a mixture that would eventually devolve into the separate disciplines we know today. But who were these ancient Greek female philosophers, these medieval “doctoresses,” and these Enlightenment lady astronomers? How was it that they were so celebrated in their lifetimes, and yet they are so completely obscure today? What does that say about our understanding of the discourse and practice of “gender,” or — perhaps more importantly – our understanding of what we now deem to be the nature of scientific knowledge?

Simultaneous Occupancies (ARC4239.01)

This class will investigate architectural projects that posit simultaneous programs contained within a single envelope. We will look at various conditions under which varying, and even divergent interests are pursued by the building and its occupants, including the haunted house, the safe house, the “front”, and similar conditions where one use conceals or overlies another.

Studio projects will focus on the exploration and development of other conditions where this topology may be employed to create new opportunities for simultaneous occupancy. Spaces will be created to contain these programs in a way that explores how their parallel existences are imprinted on one another.

Distributed Systems (with Lab) (CS4280.01)

In this class, we will, as a group, build a working distributed system from scratch, such as a web search engine, distributed file system, blockchain/distributed ledger, or peer-to-peer network. By building such a system, students will learn about key theoretical and practical fundamentals related to distributed systems and software engineering, such as concurrency, replication, commit models, fault-expectancy, self-organization and management, load-balancing, capacity planning, network programming, containerization and microservices, and physical and environmental considerations. These key principles are what lie at the core of the designs of well-known systems such as those built by Google, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and others. The class will evolve from reading and discussing research and working on foundational programming projects, to working through the design of the system, developing it, planning its deployment, and releasing it into the wild. Includes lab.

Painterly Painters & Portraiture (AH4122.01)

According to art historical tradition, “painterly painters” are those whose work exhibits a gestural, often loose, facture that makes the viewer conscious of its painted quality through visible brushwork, inchoate, haptic, blotches and sometimes, heavy impasto. Portraits, like painterly painting, are thought to be largely concerned with fixing or situating individuality, particularity, figuration v. abstraction, and even identity construction, subjectivity, and self-awareness. Together this range of concerns will structure a selective study of the portrait painters (who should be) best known for their virtuosic coloring and painterliness including, but not limited to: Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Ribera, Reynolds, Carriera, Boucher, Goya, Manet, Sargent, Bacon, Guston, Rauschenberg, Whitten, Lewis, Basquiat, Saville, Richter, Simpson, Odutola, etc. Race, gender, nationalism, and close looking anchor our exploration.

Queer Renaissance (AH4114.01)

A developmental, periodizing, and heteronormatively inflected approach to idiosyncratic male artist-geniuses such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Titian has dominated Renaissance art history. Yet given its cross-cultural, colonial origins, and paradoxical investment in both ‘pagan’ antiquity and Christian humanism, ‘pre-modern’ Renaissance visuality is anything but straightforward. In this circumscribed survey of sixteenth-century art, we will read scholarship invigorated by queer theory, feminist, post-colonial, and gender studies as well as primary sources by pioneering art historians and queer art writers, e.g. Vernon Lee and Walter Pater.

Class discussions and independent research will culminate in a research project and short presentation.

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.

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.

Reading Marx (PHI4106.01)

Marx’s ideas remain an important source of political and social science thought. This class requires students to engage in a close and critical reading of a number of Marx’s essays and to assess his work in the light of critical philosophical responses.

The Human Condition: Hannah Arendt (PHI4101.01)

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a major political theorist whose work has become increasingly influential in recent years. A student of Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, her extensive writings cover such topics as the nature of power, the meaning of the political, and the problem of totalitariansim. This course is a critical exploration of some of her major works, including The Origins of Totalitariansim, The Human Condition, and Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, as well as a assessment of the critical response to her work.

Traces, Mistakes, and Leftovers (DRW4237.01)

The role of drawing has changed over the history of art, from primitive recording to preliminary sketch, from documentation to works that function independently. How can we expand these notions to include the remnants of the making process. Can the research done before a project, the many mistakes made in process, or the discards left after completion of an artwork be considered acts of drawing? What happens in the moments when we think we aren’t working? Can we analyze our interactions with the world that lead to a certain way of making things? What is the necessity or value of ruins?

In this course students collect, analyze, and employ the physical and conceptual detritus surrounding their making process. Topics include: idea generation and development, the use of memory, teaching and learning, and drawing as a way of thinking. In-class activities and discussions are complemented by readings, writings, and the production of an individual body of work, including an elaborate commonplace book. Students are expected to be engaged in a concurrent 4000 level studio/making course.

Mary Lum
M 1:40-5:20 (first seven weeks)
This course is categorized as All courses, Drawing.

Visible Language: Word And/As Image (DRW4401.01)

The observed world is covered with words, both visible and invisible. This advanced drawing course aims to underline the tensions and comforts of the relationship between words and images in visual art. Through assigned drawing problems that call upon students to complete and present visual work regularly, topics will include, sign and structure, letter formation and typography, concrete poetry, found language, illustration, and sequential imagery. An historical context of visible language will be presented, with special attention to the use of words in contemporary art. Students are expected to be able to think abstractly, and to consider reading and drawing important parts of their daily life. Class structure includes in class work, out of class assignments, independent work, readings, discussions and critiques. A high level of self-motivation is expected.

Meisner Technique (DRA4268.01)

“If you are really doing it, you don’t have time to watch yourself doing it.” Sanford Meisner was an actor and founding member of the Group Theater. He went on to become a master teacher of acting who sought to give students an organized approach to the creation of truthful behavior on stage within the imaginary circumstances of a play. This class focuses on developing an actor’s ability to listen, follow their impulses, trust their instincts, and work from moment to moment off of an acting partner. We will explore repetition, independent activities, emotional preparation and text work. The class will require extensive out-of-class preparation, with a minimum of six hours a week for rehearsals and the crafting of exercises. In addition we will be reading Eleonora Duse’s biography, A Mystic in the Theater.

Corequisites: Dance and Drama Lab assignment

Bass Intensive (MIN4026.01)

Advanced studies in theory relating to performance.

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

Patternmaking and Garment Construction (DRA4119.01)

This course is designed to teach the student the many steps involved in creating a finished garment from a simple idea, piece of research or sketch. Students will learn the basics of draping, flat patterning, and fitting. Construction of final garment will allow them to explore and employ sewing skills beyond the fundamentals.

Film Adaptations of French Literature (FRE4492.01)

Since the very beginnings of cinema, French literature and film have reciprocally inspired one another. From the Surrealists to the New French Extremity movement, many directors have brought French literary works onto the screen. This course will offer students the opportunity to analyze literature and their film adaptations in terms of intermediality and intertextuality. Adaptations will include: La Princesse de Clèves (La Fayette/Delannoy, Oliveira, Sauder), The Nun (Diderot/Rivette), Madame Bovary (Flaubert/Chabrol), Les Misérables (Hugo/Lumière, Bernard,), La Noire de… (Sembène, Sembène), La Prisonnière (Proust/Akerman). Students will examine a variety of adaptations, focusing on the strategies used to turn a book into a film. Issues of adaptation theory will also be explored, as well as the underlying ideology behind the rediscovery of literary authors through cinema. Students will discuss notions such as “faithfulness” to a source text, the translation of thought, literary and film metaphors, and the different “language” of print text and film. Advanced. Conducted in French.

Corequisites: Language Series

Special Projects in Advanced Japanese (JPN4801.01)

This course is designed for students to research/ complete a project in their field of study/interest. In order to take this course, students are required to write a proposal of their project and be accepted by the instructor.

Corequisites: Language Series

Life and Death: Buddhism in Modern Japanese Films (JPN4401.01)

In this course, students will examine how Buddhism influenced Japanese thought on the after-life and analyze how Japanese views on the relationship between life and death are depicted in recent Japanese films. In the first seven weeks of the course, students will examine and discuss the history, beliefs, and deities of Buddhism and their influences on society. In the second half of the term, students will analyze how death and a common theme, reincarnation, are depicted in different genres of Japanese films such as love stories and fantasy. Throughout the course, students will develop both their linguistic skills and cognitive skills by discussing their understanding of Buddhist beliefs and analyzing Japanese perspectives on death and reincarnation. Individual projects are required. Conducted in Japanese. Intermediate Level.

Corequisites: Language Series

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

Art of the Sonnet: Conventions and Inventions (LIT4113.01)

The sonnet, from the Italian sonnetto, or little song, has a long and rich history as a poetic form, described by contemporary poet Laynie Browne as ʺa controlled measure of sound and space within which one can do anything. An invitation.ʺ This course, a literature seminar with a significant creative component, will invite you to study the sonnet in‐depth, both as a traditional form obsessively employed by William Shakespeare and the 14th‐century Italian poet Petrarch, and as an innovative, elastic lyric enjoying a surge in popularity among contemporary writers, some of whom have exploded the form in radical ways. The class will consider the work of such poets as Dante, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Wyatt, Keats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Claude McKay, John Berryman, Ted Berrigan, Natasha Trethewey, Olena Kalytiak Davis, D.A. Powell, Hannah Sanghee Park, Terrance Hayes, Nikki Wallschlaeger, and Sandra Simonds. Students will write two critical papers, take a midterm exam on form and prosody, recite and memorize two sonnets, and, most weeks, submit for class critique a sonnet of their own.

Corequisite: Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm.

A Voice from a Wound: Trauma and Memory in Hispanophone Literature (SPA4802.01)

This advanced Spanish course is a study of the paradox of trauma literature. Stories that compel their telling, yet are unassimilated and unspeakable, trauma narratives grow out of disaster and crisis on an individual and/or collective scale. To better understand Anne Whitehead’s assertion that “Novelists have frequently found that the impact of trauma can only adequately be represented by mimicking its forms and symptoms, so that temporality and chronology collapse, and narratives are characterized by repetition and indirection,” we first consider representative fictional narratives by contemporary Spanish authors including Juan Goytisolo, Juan Marsé, and Isaac Rosa Camacho. In order to develop an appropriate theoretical background, students also tackle major contributions by theorists such as Freud, Herman, Caruth, LaCapra, and Whitehead, whose ideas resonate deeply with our primary literary texts. Thereafter, students’ individual research questions will drive content choices, such that, depending on student interests, there will be ample opportunity to consider examples from any time and place in the Hispanophone world. Co-requisite: attendance at 2 language events. In Spanish. Advanced level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Regardez (FRE4496.01)

In this course, students will examine specific visual representations within the context of French culture. Through the reading of a wide variety of French images, including among other works Chartres cathedral’s stained glass, La Tour’s chiaroscuro paintings, Haitian art, as well as virtual reality experiments, students will hone their linguistic skills and enrich their understanding of French, economical, sociological, historical and artistic realities and values. Written assignments and oral presentations will develop students’ level of comprehension, mastery of grammar, in French, as well as their critical skills. Intermediate-high level. Conducted in French.