Fall 2014

HI352 Asian Migrations
Four credit hours. H, I. LaCouture

UntitledSince the Cold War, academics and policy makers have understood Asia as a map clearly delineated by the borders of modern nation-states and further divided into three Asias: South, Southeast, and East. This Migrations Humanities Lab introduces migrations as a category of historical analysis to un-map Cold War-era understandings of Asia and generate a new trans-regional awareness of the Asian world. Examines the migrations of people, language and culture, capital, and things across Asia from early modern history through the Cold War. Students will engage with cutting-edge research on Asian migrations and contribute to this growing field with an original research project. Prerequisite: East Asian Studies 150, History 250, 276, or 350.


LT255 The Aeneid, Vergil’s Epic of Migration
Four credit hours. L. O’Neill

AeneasFleeingTroyFedericoFiori 'Il BarociGalleriaBorgheseRomeVergil sends Aeneas on a fantastic journey between imaginary homelands: a Troy that no longer stands, a Rome that does not yet exist. Even the Rome revealed to us through prophecy, necromancy, and divine decree does not seem recognizable. Who was Aeneas: exile or immigrant, refugee or colonizer? What can he tell us about Roman identity? Studying selections from the Aeneid and secondary literature will develop your abilities in language, and literary, historical, and cultural analysis. In this Migrations Humanities Lab, students will create a website to present their original research and enhance their communication skills. Prerequisite: Latin 131, or appropriate score on the AP or SAT Subject Latin exam, or a higher-level Latin course.


AM221 Mapping Waterville
Four credit hours. H. 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.


IT397 Italian Food in Practice: A Hands-on Cultural History
Four credit hours. Rizzo

quadro-Vucciria-di-Renato-GuttusoIn this Humanities Lab, we will trace the historical evolution of Italian food culture in the geographical and cultural context of the Mediterranean since classical times. The focus will be on understanding the extraordinary significance of food for Italian national identity, by exploring its evolution through various historical, cross-cultural, and theoretical perspectives, drawing from history, anthropology, sociology, art, and literature. During the weekly lab we will familiarize ourselves with ingredients, practice basic cooking techniques, learn fundamental preparations, and prepare classic Italian recipes. Prerequisite: Italian 141.


AR497 Whistler in Context
Four credit hours. Sheehan

Steichen, Moonlight on the NarrowsThe work of James McNeill Whistler was as controversial as it was inspiring in the late 19th century, giving rise to an international movement known as Aestheticism and laying the foundations for 20th-century modernism. This Humanities Lab situates Whistler in a variety of artistic and cultural contexts, working with the nearly 300 works by the artist at the Colby College Museum of Art and its collections of American, European, Asian, and contemporary art. Students will complete several writing assignments, make formal presentations, conduct independent research, publish their work in a major museum catalog, and develop an exhibition on “Whistler in Context,” scheduled to open in fall 2015.


CI298 Digital Publishing: Telling Stories Online
Four credit hours. Murphy

unnamedThis Humanities Lab explores the many methods and tools available for creating digital stories. Students will learn the basic skills of multimedia production and develop strategies for conceiving original and creative projects. They will explore the potential uses of digital storytelling, including promoting nonprofits, marketing a new business, and developing social justice campaigns. Projects will include the creation of animated .gifs, photo manipulations, audio soundscapes, digital video mash-ups, and promotional web videos. Students will also become fluent in a variety of programs, including Photoshop, Audacity, and Final Cut X, and engage with a variety of publishing platforms including Vine, Flickr, WordPress, Vimeo, and Tumblr.


JanPlan 2015

AR293 Asian Museum Workshop: Chinese Artists in Maine
Four credit hours. Weitz
DSCN1355A hands-on, collaborative Humanities Lab in which students create a museum or virtual Web exhibition. Students learn about the topic through readings, lectures, presentations, and writing assignments. They then begin their collaboration, with the entire class making all decisions. Students jointly produce a grant proposal, press release, object labels, catalogue, and educational component. The exhibition opens the last day of Jan Plan with a student-led public presentation. The scale of the project and the student-driven process demand a great commitment of time and energy, but the long hours yield a tangible product that remains on display for weeks, months, or years. Topic for 2015: “Chinese Artists in Maine” at Common Street Arts Gallery.


Spring 2015

AR498 Photography and Migration
Four credit hours. Sheehan
Lange_Meeting-of-the-Mothers-ClubThis Humanities Lab will explore the complex relations between human migration and photography. Since the 19th century, photography has been used to document, enable, or control the movement of people across geographical and cultural borders. Both art photographers and snapshooters have attempted to put a face on immigration around the world, making visible its associations with transition, displacement, hardship, and opportunity. In addition to engaging with current scholarship, students will work with photographs in Special Collections at Miller Library, the Colby College Museum of Art, the Maine Historical Society, and the Waterville Historical Society. They will also develop a research project involving their own family photographs and photographs of local immigrant communities. Prerequisite: An American studies or art course.


CI298 Digital Publishing: Telling Stories Online
Four credit hours. Murphy

EditingPhotoExplores the many methods and tools available for creating digital stories. In this Humanities Lab, students will learn the basic skills of multimedia production and develop strategies for conceiving original and creative projects. They will explore the potential uses of digital storytelling, including promoting nonprofits, marketing a new business, and developing social justice campaigns. Projects will include the creation of animated .gifs, photo manipulations, audio soundscapes, digital video mash-ups, and promotional web videos. Students will also become fluent in a variety of programs, including Photoshop, Audacity, and Final Cut X, and engage with a variety of publishing platforms including Vine, Flickr, WordPress, Vimeo, and Tumblr.


EN386C Special Topics: Documentary Radio
Four credit hours. Spark

photo-4_600x600.shkl_In this Humanities Lab, students will listen to and make a variety of short documentary pieces, learning how to use recording equipment, interview, write radio scripts, and edit and mix sound. They will produce radio essays, public service announcements, vox pops (person-on-the-street-type interviews), soundscapes, and profiles. They should expect to go off campus for assignments, as well as to spend time in the Theater and Dance Department’s sound studio. Includes readings about sound reporting and the making of This American Life, as well as guests from on and off campus.


FR371 L’écriture de soi
Four credit hours. Brunetaux

Bruneteux

This Humanities Lab explores concepts of memory and self-fashioning in autobiographical narratives, and questions the (im)possibilities of writing/telling the self through film, literature and art. To put into practice what they learn in class, students will work hand-in-hand with the relevant curators from the Colby Museum to produce exhibition and education material in French on Alex Katz and James McNeill Whistler for the visiting public. This research project will enable them to use their language skills in a different context, while giving them an opportunity to apply the concepts and theories from class to the textual and artistic material in the museum.


HI241 History of Colby College
Four credit hours. Leonard

Pat Burdick, Assistant Director for Special Collections and Wilder Davies '17Through hands-on experience with archival and primary source materials in Special Collections, students gain confidence as scholars and participate in writing the College’s history. Supported by professional archivists and the course instructor, students in this Humanities Lab develop independent research projects on Colby’s rich past, exploring everything from why Colby’s mascot is the “Mule” to early-nineteenth-century students’ commitment to antislavery.


MU222 Maine’s Musical Soundscapes: Ethnography of Maine
Four credit hours. Zelensky

Fiddleicious_DonRoyWhat are the musical cultures outside of Colby and what are the communities making this music? We will engage this question through direct interaction and observation of Maine’s ethnic and racial communities. Students will learn ethnographic field methods and take field trips to conduct interviews at sites that make up the rich tapestry of Maine’s soundscape, including Waterville establishments and Penobscot, Lebanese, Somali, Russian, and French-Canadian communities (the group under study will rotate on a yearly basis). Students in this Humanities Lab will present their findings in the form of a documentary film.


RE221 The Jews of Maine
Four credit hours. Freidenreich

FreidenreichMaine is home to a noteworthy yet under-researched Jewish community with deep historical roots. Participants in this civic engagement Humanities Lab will advance scholarly and popular understanding of the experiences of Jews in Maine past and present by producing essays and talks based on original archival research or fieldwork. Students will develop research and communications skills and gain a richer understanding of Jewish life in small-town America. They may also help to strengthen Maine’s Jewish communities through their research. Research focus varies; the 2015 theme is Jewish migration to and from Maine.