Spring 2016

AR454 American Art and Science: Picturing Nature
Four credit hours. Sheehan

Sheehan, Tanya Image 2016 (1)This Human/Nature Humanities Lab explores interactions between science and visual culture in the United States from the 18th century to the present. In spring 2016 focuses on efforts to visualize the natural world. Major topics include the scientific basis of American landscape art, natural history displays, and the visual culture of environmentalism. Students are expected to complete writing assignments, deliver oral presentations, conduct original library research, and engage with visiting artists/scholars. They will study art at the L. C. Bates Museum, Colby College Museum of Art, and Colby Libraries Special Collections. Prerequisite: Any American Studies; Art; or Science, Technology, and Society course.


AR498 Ancient Art in Miniature: Theory and Practice in Seal Studies
Four credit hours. Ameri

Sidney Babcock, curator and department head, Seals and Tablets, demonstrated how to make a seal impression of Morgan Seal 604, Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2010 , W3327This Humanities Lab introduces students to the ancient technology of seal production and use through the methodologies of art history and experimental archaeology. Students first conduct a detailed study of a collection of ancient seals on loan to the Colby museum, then collaborate with a sculpture class to produce and use their own seals. Lab techniques are introduced through the careful documentation of students’ work. Results in an exhibit that presents both the original seals and the students’ experimental work.


AY224 Border Crossers and New Neighbors: Immigrants in Maine
Four credit hours. Besteman

CatherineThis ethnographic Humanities Lab introduces students to immigrant experiences through readings and engagement with immigrant communities in Maine. We begin with intensive readings to gain expertise about different aspects of immigrant experiences, including the reasons for mobility, employment, family, religion, and identity. Background preparation enables students to work with preselected immigrant and immigrant support organizations to learn about their experiences and to collaborate in documentary production. Requires significant travel and student initiative. Part of the two-course cluster, Integrated Studies 224, “Global Maine.”


EN351 Contemporary American Poetry–“American Poetry Since 1945: Wars and Wiles and Other Charms”
Four credit hours. Blevins

127176876_0c72f1cfb0_bIn this Humanities Lab we will marry traditional study of a literary period and genre—American poetry since 1945—to an experiential community engagement. Critical discussions will focus on close reading of major American poems and will investigate the ongoing questions and debates that have defined the eclectic character of American poetry in the contemporary period. Our readings will be supplemented by critical assessments focused on our poetry’s richly inventive evolution viewed partly through the manifestos and aesthetic arguments of the poets themselves. As part of the final project, students will work with a local artist to illuminate poetry on buildings at Colby and in downtown Waterville as part of a collaborative community engagement experiment around National Poetry Month. Students will curate an author bio and description of the defining aesthetic features of the poetry they choose to share and endeavor to portray it in a way that reveals how lyric intimacy can create connection to and accessibly for the broader public.


EN412 Global Shakespeares   
Four credit hours.Osborne

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.36.47 PMA Humanities Lab that examines international appropriations of Shakespeare’s plays through film, through exploration of translation practices and adaptations, and through development of an exhibition of German Shakespearean prints in conjunction with the Colby Museum of Art. Explores Shakespeare’s plays within the context of intercultural dialogues, theories about cultural imperialism, and filming/artistic practices in global markets. Significant research required. Required film screenings. Fulfills pre-1800 requirement.


FR222 French Theater Workshop
Four credit hours. Brunetaux

IMG_5012Designed for students wishing to develop their French language skills in a less traditional environment. Through close study of French plays, students acquire in-depth knowledge of contemporary French theater. As their final project, they have the unique opportunity to select, direct, and perform a French play. This Humanities Lab engages students in collaborative and experiential learning. Emphasis on analysis, drama performance, French oral practice, and creativity. No prior acting experience required. May be repeated once for additional credit. Prerequisite: A 200-level French course.


FR323 Holocaust in French Cinema
Four credit hours. Brunetaux

AudreyAn investigation of how French cinema has maintained a complex relationship to the Holocaust from 1945 to the present, while providing insight into Vichy France and its role in the roundups and deportations of Jews during World War II. We will examine how French film aesthetics mediate the memory of the Holocaust. Emphasis will be placed on critical analysis of films (including film form, language, and theory). An innovative Humanities Lab project with the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, which will engage students in experiential learning outside Colby. Meetings with Holocaust survivors will complement the course. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course.


GS224 Multimedia Storytelling in a Transnational World   
Four credit hours.  Razsa

unnamedThis Humanities Lab teaches audio and video recording methods, research practice, documentary filmmaking ethics, and multimedia and interactive storytelling conventions and platforms. Special emphasis is placed on learning to understand and collaborate across a variety of socioeconomic and cultural differences. Students will produce audio, video, and text contributions to an online interactive documentary that tells stories of the state’s varied immigrant communities. Requires significant travel and student initiative. Part of the two-course cluster, Integrated Studies 224, “Global Maine.”


MU262 Music in Life, Music as Culture
Four credit hours. Gubner

tumblr_mdrpph4Z5Y1ry9urgo1_1280Through an introduction to Ethnomusicology this Humanities Lab will teach students to view music as a powerful force that helps articulate and shape the ways individuals and groups identify their place in the world. Drawing on case studies from around the world, we will use the lens of music to address questions of class, ethnicity, consumerism, politics, diaspora, transnationalism, community, emotion, and memory. Shifting from theory to practice, students will gain hands-on experience with ethnomusicological fieldwork by conducting ethnographic research with the Music and Memory Program at two local nursing homes in Waterville. This nation-wide program was designed to distribute iPods and individualized musical playlists to patients with Alzheimers and dementia as a groundbreaking form of music therapy. After learning about the field of medical ethnomusicology and gaining the ethical and practical skills necessary to conduct fieldwork, students will move outside the classroom to conduct oral histories of residents with the help of family members, design individualized playlists based on those interviews, and make short films about the deep impact music can have on the lives of the elderly.


MU298 Experiencing Tango: Tango History/Culture through Performance
Four credit hours. Gubner

598515_893403969254_1618378215_nAs a Humanities Lab, this hybrid tango seminar and ensemble offers a hands-on introduction to Argentine tango music and culture. Working in an ensemble format, students will learn to perform tango music from different historic periods, collaboratively working to bring tango’s to life while simultaneously studying the rich social, political, and musical histories out of which this dynamic genre evolved. Through academic lecture, discussion and performance, we will trace the genre from its origins in the lower-class port-neighborhoods of Buenos Aires to the world stages of Paris, New York, and Helsinki, and, most recently, to tango’s revival as a form of underground youth culture in modern-day Argentina. As a way of teaching the everyday culture of this popular music genre, students will prepare a repertoire of dance music to be performed at a series of live tango dance events, where they will also learn the basic steps of tango dancing.


JanPlan 2016

AR297 Instructional Technologies in the Museum
Four credit hours. Timme

TimmeLabPhotoOver the course of January students in this Humanities Lab will identify, examine, and complete product based projects that address authentic issues being encountered by museums in four general areas – museum websites, in-gallery technologies, audio and visual media production, and experimental technologies (3D Printing, electronics, and MakerSpaces). Students will identify areas of need within the Colby College Museum of Art and prototype solutions that rely on instructional technologies. Through the creation of usable prototypes students will become familiar with the hardware and software currently being used by cultural institutions, as well as experiment with new design strategies and technologies.


AM322 Imagining Maine: 1820-1920
Four credit hours. Saltz

SaltzThis interdisciplinary Human/Nature Humanities Lab examines Maine’s transformation in the American imagination from a barren wilderness to a “vacationland.” We will collect and analyze representations of Maine in painting, photography, literature, maps, advertising, travel guides, diaries, and historical documents. For our final project, we will work collaboratively to build a website that showcases this material. Research may include travel to exhibitions and archives around the state.


TD361 Advanced Topics in Performance: Human/Nature
One credit hour. Kloppenberg

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.08.41 AMContinuing research conducted in TD197 in the fall, students in this Human/Nature Humanities Lab collaborate on a faculty-directed original dance/theater performance piece that will be performed on tour at a professional venue in New York City. Working with advanced compositional, performance, improvisational, and other embodied practices, students continue to explore concepts developed in the fall while cultivating an understanding of creative research as a rigorous, complex undertaking and developing personal performance aesthetics that incorporate individual choice and risk, both creatively and in performance. Interested students should contact Professor Kloppenberg.


Fall 2015

AM159A Made in Maine
Four credit hours. Lisle

MadeinMaine1We examine the “design” of Maine, exploring how Mainers have made meaning through things and space at different scales, from handheld tools to the shape of cities, owner-built houses to craft beers. As participants in a Humanities Lab course, we will cultivate a “classroom without walls,” combining reading, writing, and discussion with fieldwork, archival research, community engagement, archive building, and digital publishing. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies cluster “Made in Maine: The Digital Maine Project.” Pre-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 159B and Cinema Studies 159. Satisfies the Social Science requirement.


AM221 Mapping Waterville
Four credit hours. Lisle

AM221 lab imageThis interdisciplinary Humanities Lab combines geographical and architectural fieldwork, archival research, and digital publishing. Waterville is our learning space. Students construct an online archive of Waterville’s built environment using architectural sketches, photographs, interviews, and archival research. We then analyze and interpret the town’s material and spatial character, track and explain changes across time, and publish our interpretations online using innovative digital mapping technologies.


AM322 Imagining Maine: 1820-1920
Four credit hours. Saltz

SaltzThis interdisciplinary Humanities Lab is part of the 2015-2016 Humanities Theme: Human/Nature. It denaturalizes “nature” by examining how the land and landscapes of Maine were constructed visually and textually between 1820 and 1920. From the year in which Maine was granted statehood to the year after Acadia became a national park, that century marked Maine’s transformation in the American imagination from a barren wilderness to a “vacationland.” Student research, including fieldwork, will analyze this transformation and will be the focus of the course. Students will learn new digital platforms through which to publish their final projects.


AR282 Photography II: Picturing the Built Environment
Four credit hours. Green

GaryThis Humanities Theme and Lab course will provide further exploration of the materials, techniques, and ideas covered in Photography I, while introducing more advanced methods, materials, and equipment. In addition, the course will be thematically based on our relationship to the built environment, those places that most reflect the intersection of humans and nature. Written and visual assignments will be based on the work of photographers who have previously taken on this topic and the critics and scholars who have discussed it.


ST197 Human/Nature Humanities Lab
One credit hour.

Deer_hunt_mosaic_from_PellaFocuses on the interface that connects the two terms and the space in which they interact. How do “human” and “nature” come in contact? How has this border evolved throughout history? Who is ultimately in charge? We like to think of this relationship as a peaceful one, as one of balance and mutually beneficial coexistence, but the word “slash” can help us remember that more often than not violence is the mode of interaction for these two terms. Involves public lectures by visiting scholars and Colby faculty, focused discussion, and weekly required reflection papers. Nongraded. “Human/Nature” humanities lab.


ST297  Human/Nature in the 21st Century   
Three credit hours.  Fleming

5349327692_f13c9713cc_oA seminar and Humanities Lab with a coordinated evening lecture series open to students and the general public, offered with the support of the Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Colby Museum of Art. What does it mean to be human in an era of nearly incomprehensible technological complexity and change? Are there universal laws of nature and human nature, or is everything up for grabs? Is technoculture making things different in degree or in kind? Examines contemporary human-nature interactions and historical pathways leading to the current situation. Provides critical links and synergies between and among disciplines. “Human/Nature” Humanities Lab. Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Science, Technology, and Society 197.


TD164  Performance Lab Series: Human/Nature
One credit hour.

Paul Howard Manship Dancer and Gazelles, 1916 Bronze with green patina 32 1/4 in. x 34 3/4 in. x 11 in. (81.92 cm x 88.27 cm x 27.94 cm) The Lunder CollectionStudents will work with faculty to conduct creative research to generate performance material in response to scheduled events surrounding the 2015-16 Humanities Theme: Human/Nature. This research will then serve as the basis for Theater and Dance 361 in Jan Plan in which students will work with faculty to create an original dance/theater hybrid piece. Outcomes include understanding creative research as a rigorous, complex undertaking and cultivating a personal performance aesthetic incorporating individual choices and risks, both creatively and in performance. Note: 164 is a prerequisite to 361. Nongraded. “Human/Nature” humanities lab. Prerequisite: Audition.