Fall 2018

AY232: Oral History Ethnographic Research Lab: Waterville Main Street
Two credit hours. Tate

In this ethnographic research lab, students will explore the theory and practice of oral history. They will read from a range of sources about the challenges of producing oral history and conduct both archival research and produce oral histories examining the history of Waterville Main Street, using Colby’s Special Collections and with Waterville residents. Drawing on Digital Maine’s previous projects (including American Studies 221, “Mapping Waterville”), the class will produce a collective project presenting oral histories of Waterville Main Street.

AY344: Black Radical Imaginations
Four credit hours. Bhimull

This seminar is a critical transdisciplinary examination of the black radical imagination, an idea developed by Robin D. G. Kelley to describe the transformative power of collective visions for a new society. It explores how black people have long used imagination as a political strategy for survival, emancipation, and liberation – to struggle, to dream, and to create worlds of joy and love that reach beyond and dismantle oppression. It draws attention to the creative traditions of black intellectual activism and invites us to consider how they inform contemporary modes of social action and change.

EN397: Poetry Remixes
Four credit hours. Ardam

Remixing, re-visioning, rewriting, appropriation, quotation, and recycling are key methods and concerns for many 20th- and 21st-century poets. This humanities lab will study 100 years of poetic remixing in units on gender, race and identity, and culture. We will work with Special Collections and the Colby Museum, including a project on the found language poetry of Bern Porter. We will ask questions such as: How and why do poets engage other art and cultural forms? How does remixing shape our understanding of history and politics? What does our poetic engagement with the past tell us about how we view our political moment?

WP115: First-Year Writing: Rich and Poor in American Fiction
Four credit hours. Harrington

Invites you to examine an American literary movement–social realism–through the lens of class extremes, looking at how fiction has helped create and reinforce cultural notions of “rich” and “poor”. We will read canonical works as well as contemporary popular literature with an eye toward fictional representation of class division. We will also apply class theory, such as that of Thorstein Veblen, to narrative and will contextualize texts through New Historicism. In the process, we will explore, even deconstruct, our own views of class identities. Assignments will include a short position paper, a longer research paper, a blog, a group project, and a midterm. The Presence of the Past humanities lab.