Courses | 2019-2020
AM398:Land, Sovereignty, and Art
Four credit hours. Hickey
Examines how Indigenous artists and activists respond visually to issues related to land and sovereignty. We look at a broad range of media used by Indigenous creative practitioners, including documentary filmmaking, printmaking, photography, and performance. While we focus mainly on case studies in Turtle Island (North America) and Oceania, the issues explored are relevant across the globe – from the Maori of Aotearoa to the Lenca of Honduras and El Salvador. Students will leave with an understanding of the landscape of decolonial “movement culture,” as well as the theoretical and methodological building blocks to delve into these issues in ways that challenge the legacies of colonial research and representation. Students write several essays and create original movement art. Prerequisite: American Studies 171.
AR227: History of Architecture I: From Pyramids to Cathedrals
Four credit hours. Ameri
Introduces students to the history of architecture and examines key aspects of human relationships with the built environment. Topics include religious architecture, city planning, and the expression of political power in architectural design, from antiquity through the Gothic period. Among the important structures covered are the Parthenon, Roman military garrisons, early royal palaces, and cathedrals. Through lectures, discussions, exams, and individual research projects, students learn to analyze these forms of the built environment in relation to cultural, religious, economic, political, and historical trends.
AR472: Food in Art, Food as Art
Four credit hours. Plesch
In this seminar, students learn about the history of food, look at art from prehistoric times to the present, and address a wide variety of issues. In addition to still-life painting, art featuring food includes depictions of figures eating, preparing, and serving food. Examines the aesthetics of feasts and banquets, the architecture of eating spaces, the symbolic functions ascribed to food, and how food presentation follows the artistic styles of the period. Prerequisite: Any art history course.
CH122: Earth Systems Chemistry II
Four credit hours. Drozd, Koffman
The Earth is a dynamic chemical reactor that changes on timescales of seconds to millions of years through natural and anthropogenic forcing. This two-semester sequence explores fundamental chemistry principles, including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and reactivity, chemical equilibria, and thermodynamics through the lens of Earth’s 4.56-billion-year history. By constructing quantitative models of Earth systems, students also learn how Earth processes operate over time and space, how they shape the environments in which we live, and the theoretical and practical limits of resource utilization. Prerequisite: Chemistry 121.
EA252: Hell on Earth? Chinese Writers on Modern Chinese Society
Four credit hours. Besio
An examination of how Chinese writers used literature and film to address the political and social crises their country faced during the 20th century. Through close readings of literary and cinematic works, students will reflect critically on the experiences of the Chinese people as they struggled to modernize and reform society. Students will reflect on what these experiences might teach us about our own society as well as contemporary China, and they will develop their ability to express insights both orally and in writing.
ES368: Global Climate Policy
Four credit hours. Robinson
Climate change is a global problem. How and whether a world of sovereign states can cooperate to reduce climate change risks to manageable levels are critical questions, but there is no political or expert consensus around the best way forward. This course will study global climate politics and policy, particularly within the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Students will work individually and in groups to critically assess the complexities and effectiveness of international governance responses relating to climate mitigation, adaptation, finance provision, technology transfer and capacity-building. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118.
FR357: Illuminating Turns to Science in 19th-Century France
Four credit hours. Paliyenko
Examines how painters, poets and thinkers across the disciplines shed light on the “triumph” of science and its biases in 19th-century France. A chronological study of primary sources, both print and visual, tracks advances in anatomy, physiology, embryology, and psychology during the first half of the century, followed by the impact of experimental medicine, evolution and social Darwinism in the 1860s and beyond. Via this transdisciplinary course exposing the blind spot as well as the limits of human knowledge, students engage critically with new historicism and gain advanced skills in archival research, analytical writing, and creative oral presentations. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.
FR351: Minority Issues and Social Change in the Americas
Four credit hours. Mauguiere
This course will examine issues of cultural representation, migration, diaspora and social change from Quebec, Acadia, Maine and Louisiana to the Caribbean. Postcolonial theories and Ecocriticism will be used to better understand the social changes in the Americas. Goals include developing critical reading, presentation, and writing skills. Students will analyze print and visual texts, including films and testimonies, and they will contribute to a Digital Humanities project as part of an on-going, interdisciplinary effort to remap America and American studies.
HI348: U.S. Environmental History
Four credit hours. Reardon
Examines the complex interplay between nature and culture throughout American history, illuminating humanity’s evolving relationship with the natural world and the ways the environment has shaped human history. Following a survey of Native peoples and the changes brought about by European colonization, we will tackle themes associated with the Western frontier, industrial expansion, conservation, and the emergence of ecological thinking. Lastly, we will explore the historical roots of large-scale social and political movements including progressive era conservation, 20th-century environmentalism, and more recently, sustainability.
IT357: F for Fake: Forgery, Fiction, Art of Lying (in English)
Four credit hours. Rizzo
Traces the evolution and explores the meaning of fakes, fiction, and hoaxes in Western art and literature in order to call into question conventional ideas of authorship, readership, and text. The seminar will begin by defining core terms such as forgery, parody, hoax, and fiction. We will see how each of these terms is defined by a particular author/audience relation. Subsequently, we will be looking at a series of “case studies” containing historical examples from each of the terms, supplemented with a selection of critical readings that will enhance students’ appreciation of the aesthetic and epistemological implications of the texts at issue. Taught in English.
WP115: First-Year Writing: Rhetoric, Writing, and Social Change
Four credit hours. W1. Sheriff
Focuses on effective writing, rhetorical analysis, and communicating with different audiences–including the Colby community. Writing projects will include three analytical essays and a final, public writing project in which each student identifies an issue in the Colby community, researches the situation, and develops a realistic proposal to improve it. Each week, we focus on a different aspect of college-level academic writing (e.g., paragraph development, sentence-level editing, analyzing research sources, making sound arguments, etc.) Readings are diverse and include non-fiction essays, newspaper journalism, videos, and scholarly writing on rhetoric, identity, and literacy.
LA298: Baila: Latin Dance, History, Culture, and Performance
One credit hour. Bernal Heredia
Designed to enhance students’ understanding of cultural contexts and complex histories of various Latin dance genres as well as the fundamental dance skills and techniques to Merengue, Bachata, Cha-cha, Samba, Cumbia, Reggaeton, and Salsa.
LT398: Lucan’s Bellum Civile
Four credit hours. Currie
This class will cover selections from Lucan’s Bellum Civile, an epic poem on the civil war between Pompey and Caesar written during the reign of Nero. Readings in both Latin and English will let us address issues like the roles of history, philosophy, women, and gods in epic, along with the use of traditional epic elements like storm scenes, battle narratives, and suitable beginnings/endings. Students will gain understanding of the elements of epic poetry as well as a detailed familiarity with Lucan’s literary and socio-political context.
MU234: From Rockabilly to Grunge: A History of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Four credit hours. Zelensky
A survey of rock music, from its roots in country and blues to the alternative rock scene of the 1990s. Rock music will be considered in relation to race, sex, gender, drugs, technology, marketing, and politics to better understand its powerful position in constructing, challenging, and reinforcing various positions of identity. Students will learn to discuss the musical characteristics of a work, identify its genre and era of composition, and contextualize it within a broader framework of American culture and politics.
PL311: Philosophical Approaches to Global Justice
Four credit hours. Moland
Recent philosophical theorizing regarding global justice. Topics include our responsibilities regarding global poverty, the definition and causes of terrorism, the nature of collective responsibility, the ethical implications of the nation-state. Gives particular attention to philosophers who have left the ivory tower by putting their theories into action such as Peter Singer, Thomas Pogge, and Martha Nussbaum. Students have the option of putting theory into practice through a civic engagement project. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy.
RE232: American Spirituality and the Environment
Four credit hours. Harper
Examines historical and contemporary connections between spirituality and environmentalism in American culture. From early Quakers to mid-19th-century Romantics to contemporary Buddhists, we explore how individuals and groups in the United States have conceived of the relationship between environmentally responsible living, spiritual discipline, and social witness. While the course will span geographic regions, special attention is paid to movements and figures centered in Maine. Previously listed as RE298B (Spring 2019).
ST120: Information Before and After Google: Impacts and Technologies
Four credit hours. Kugelmeyer
Explores the nature of information and how technology has changed our experience and understanding of it over the past 75 years. Emphasizes the relationship between information and technology and explores the impact of information technologies on societies, organizations, and people. Participants explore how people understand and evaluate information and in what contexts information is valued and why. Students will develop and improve their understanding, critical thought processes, and analytic skills around a range of information technologies. Class format is discussion based, and the focus is on developing scholarly writing skills.
SO298: Sociology of Globalization
Four credit hours. Hikido
What does it mean to live in a globalized society? How are we connected to people on the other side of the world? This course introduces theories of globalization and explores its economic, cultural, and social dimensions. We will investigate people’s experiences in work, migration, and social movements to understand the link between the “local” and the “global.” Throughout, we analyze how structures of race, class, and gender relate to these processes.
GS298: Religious Violence
Four credit hours. Mauguiere
Whether it’s Christian assaults on reproductive rights in the United States, the grotesquely staged beheadings by ISIS, or the subversion of Israeli and Palestinian “peace camps” by Jewish and Muslim extremists, daily headlines paint a world in which our secular freedoms are constantly under threat. In this view, the zealous arm of religion reaches out to grab us from our premodern past, menacingly ideological in its pursuit to shut down what is progressive and pleasurable. Salman Rushdie makes it clear what it is at stake: “kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love.”
HI248: Nuclear Visions, Environmental Realities
Four credit hours. Josephson
Examines the environmental history of nuclear power, peaceful and military. Using a variety of materials from a variety of disciplines and genres of human expression, students will consider the impact of military and civilian nuclear technologies on the environment, including human, machine (nuclear technology), and nature interactions. In a strongly interactive approach, using such primary sources as films, maps, archival documents, political cartoons, letters to the editor, beauty pageants (“Miss Atom!”), and photographs, they will engage questions of energy, nature, and landscape. Environmental humanities course.
EN398: Energy and Utopia
Four credit hours. Walker
From the appearance of slavery in Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) to the centrality of the alien energy source “vibranium” in Nnedi Okorafor’s Afro-futurist The Black Panther (2018), utopian narratives have been underwritten by the myth of endless, free energy, and the elision of exhausted, disenfranchised labor. Considering this historical problem, we will ask what type of political work is performed by the utopian genre today? To do so, this humanities lab will investigate literary, cinematic, and theoretical examinations of our current climate, energy, and political crises. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Energy/Exhaustion humanities lab.
AM297: Activist Art
Four credit hours. Hickey
Focuses on notable developments in activist art from the 18th century to the present, highlighting the relationships between geographically diverse movements — from The Black Panther newspaper’s powerful political graphics to rabble-rousing anti-nuclear activism in Japan. We look at the role of art in social movements, while considering the contexts from which these movements emerged in relation to transnational social, environmental, and economic concerns. The class looks at different activist tactics and forms each week, such as protest walks, grassroots counter-surveillance, and political printmaking, providing students with the tools to analyze how the visuality of activism has developed over time. Students will create a final activist art project.
AM228: Nature and the Built Environment
Four credit hours. Lisle
What is “nature”? How have Americans engaged with nature through the built environments they have constructed over time? And how do those built environments also, in turn, construct the ways we think about nature? These are the fundamental questions we explore in this course. We track how ideas about nature emerge in different historical and geographical settings, how those ideas change over time and amongst different groups of people, and consider the material and environmental consequences of these beliefs. Our point is not just to interpret ideas and practices—a difficult enough task—but also to develop ideas to change the worlds we and future generations of people and “critters” must live in. Topics include land use, nature tourism, suburban development, the production of landscapes, and environmental justice campaigns.
AY256: Land, Food, Culture, and Power
Four credit hours. Mills
An examination of cultural and political aspects of land and other resource use, using the lens of political ecology and, a variety of ethnographic examples in different parts of the world. Case studies focus on ongoing conflicts over contested resources and related efforts to challenge experiences of environmental and food injustices. Students will apply conceptual tools from political ecology and environmental anthropology to develop a research project on a relevant topic of their choosing. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112.
AY258: Anthropology, History, Memory
Four credit hours. Bhimull
Anthropologists have depicted cultural systems as timeless, paying limited attention to how historical experiences produce, and how they are shaped by, everyday beliefs and actions. Examines the significance of history for anthropological understanding and vice versa. Investigates how different cultures construct the past and how the past shapes everyday lives, our own and others. Explores sites such as myths, monuments, bodies, and archives. Questions what is the past? How is it present? How do societies remember? How do they forget? Topics include technology, time, travel, commemoration, war. Formerly offered as Anthropology 298B. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112 or American Studies 276 or a 100-level history course.
AY297: Reading Ethnographies of Climate Change
Four credit hours. Besteman
The ethnographic genre is unique to anthropology. Through focused reading and discussion of ethnographies on the theme of climate change, students will develop analytic and critical reading skills in this genre. The texts approach climate change from a wide variety of anthropological perspectives, from the impact of fossil fuel extraction on host communities to disaster relief efforts to community-based initiatives of ecological sustainability. We will focus on the form and genre of the assigned ethnographies, engage in close textual analysis, and read comparatively. Class will be run as an open discussion seminar. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112.
AY344: Black Radical Imaginations
Four credit hours. Bhimull
A seminar about the complex history of black radical imagination. Explores how black people have long used imagination as a strategy for survival, resistance, emancipation, liberation, and to create worlds of joy and love. It is concerned with black intellectual activism in the African diaspora and examines a range of cultural movements against racialized forms of oppression, including black surrealism and Afrofuturism. Prerequisite: American Studies 276 or Anthropology 112.
BI221: Infectious Diseases, Climate Change, and Health
Three credit hours. Childers
Explores health effects of climate change on Earths inhabitants. The biology of climate sensitive vector borne and zoonotic diseases and their transmission will be examined. Consequences of rising temperatures such as increases in waterborne pathogens and exposure to molds are discussed, as well as health challenges relative to food resources and antibiotic resistance stemming from changes in soil microbial communities. Broader climate change aspects, such as fossil fuel extraction, atmospheric emissions and soil and water pollution, are studied in context of human and animal health. Learning strategies will include lecture, discussion, and small group work.
CH121: Earth Systems Chemistry I
Four credit hours. N,Lb. Koffman, McKinney
The Earth is a dynamic chemical reactor that changes on timescales of seconds to millions of years through natural and anthropogenic forcings. This two-semester sequence explores fundamental chemistry principles, including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and reactivity, chemical equilibria, and thermodynamics through the lens of Earth’s 4.56-billion-year history. By constructing quantitative models of Earth systems, students also learn how Earth processes operate over time and space, how they shape the environments in which we live, and the theoretical and practical limits of resource utilization. Students with prior credit for Chemistry 141, 142, or 147 cannot receive credit for this course. Prerequisite: Students with prior credit for Chemistry 141, 142, or 147 cannot receive credit for this course.
CH341: Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
Five credit hours. Drozd
The laws and theories of chemical reactivity and the physical properties of matter. Emphasis is placed on chemical equilibrium, molecular bonding, and the rates of chemical reactions. Major topics: thermodynamics, solutions, and reaction kinetics. Gaining facility with abstraction through building mathematical models, working through the implications of those models, and assessing the validity and inherent errors in the ability of the models to predict and explain physical phenomena are the primary goals. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Chemistry 122, 142, or 147; Mathematics 122 or 162; and Physics 145. Chemistry 342 may be taken before 341 with permission of the instructor.
CN453: Chinese Food Culture and Its Changing Landscape
Four credit hours. Wang
An advanced Chinese language course that contextualizes learning through authentic materials focusing on the fascinating and constantly evolving topic of Chinese food culture. A multidisciplinary approach to understanding Chinese food culture in an immersion environment will advance language proficiency levels in all four language modalities–listening, speaking, reading, and writing–by promoting effective cross-cultural communication and fostering an in-depth understanding of the historical, ever-changing, complex Chinese culture. Humanities lab course. Prerequisite: Chinese 322 or another 400-level course.
EA242: Development and Environmental Issues in Contemporary China
Four credit hours. Zhang
Will use textbooks and reading materials that provide the social science approach in studying environmental issues in China. Although China is the second largest economy in the world, it is still a developing country on the per capita basis. This course will explore the issues of developmental rights vs. environmental protection, and environmental justice and the human and health costs of ecological degradation and industrial pollution at the global level.
EA397: Gods, Ghosts, and Goblins: Japanese Mythology and Folklore
Four credit hours. L. Nuffer
An invitation to more than a thousand years of Japanese mythology and folklore, from ancient tales of Japans creation to modern urban legends. Over the semester, you will acquire the core conceptual tools that scholars use to analyze folklore. You will also gain the knowledge of Japanese religion, history, and culture necessary to contextualize these tales and understand how and why they have changed over time.Prerequisite: East Asian Studies 150.
EN120: Language, Thought, and Writing: Scenes of Displacement, Migration, and Exile
Four credit hours. Shabangu
This writing intensive course emphasizes the fundamentals of academic writing and evidence-based argumentation skills. Pursuant to that goal, we will look at various ways that selected texts including novels, essays, film, poetry and photography respond to the subject of displacement, migration and exile in the 20th and 21st Centuries. From voluntary migration in search of more habitable spaces, to politically exiled intellectuals and writers, from narratives of asylum seekers to undocumented migrant labours in the North Atlantic, we will examine and analyze different forms of exile as represented in selected fiction and non-fiction work. We will train to read critically and write compellingly, in relation to the aesthetic responses to forms of dispossession and exploitation.
EN283: Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience
Four credit hours. Walker
What can literature teach us about nature and environmental justice? Do the humanities and environmental studies share a vision of a sustainable future? Is it possible to understand climate change without telling stories about its uneven global impacts? To address these and other questions, we will examine how the environmental humanities implicitly respond to the “two cultures” debate. We will then investigate the relationship between environmental justice and western societies’ extractive logics, economies, and management of nature. From within this theoretical framework we will analyze novels, poetry, and environmental films. Fulfills English C and D requirements.
EN311: Global Middle Ages
Four credit hours. Cook
What did it mean to imagine a global world in the Middle Ages? We will answer this question by reading accounts of travelers from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions; meeting the fictional English knight John Mandeville, who claimed to have ventured as far from home as China and Indonesia, and the very real 10th-century Muslim traveler Ibn Fadlan, who trekked through what is now Russia and Scandinavia. We will study the history of map-making, compare fictional and historical accounts of crusade, and consider how a multi-cultural medieval world is represented in medieval fantasy like Game of Thrones.
ES126: Environmental Activism
Four credidt hours. Carlson
In this course we will explore the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism in the U.S. and around the world. We will explore individual activists, grassroots groups, indigenous people, and large environmental organizations. We will analyze the motivations and strategies of specific activists and organizations, and how their actions have sparked effective social, political, and environmental change. We will explore the concept of environmental justice (EJ) and how environmental risks are related to race, ethnicity, class, gender, and indigeneity, and we will consider specific EJ case studies. In all of our work, we will make significant use of primary source narratives by activists and communities on the front-lines of environmental struggles. A version of this course was taught as part of Colby’s Green Cluster for nine years. This course is a humanities theme course: the 2019-2020 Humanities theme is Energy/Exhaustion. We will focus on activism related to energy and climate change at this moment in time when our world faces the exhaustion of fossil fuel energy sources, the movement of political and market forces away from fossil fuels, and concepts of just energy transitions.
ES276: Global Change Ecology
Four credit hours. Bruesewitz
Provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the principles of climate, ecosystems, and biogeochemistry needed to understand human impacts on the natural environment. Students will study the impacts of climate warming, our changing atmosphere, land-use change, altered hydrologic and nutrient cycles, and other global changes. We will examine key elements of global ecosystem function and investigate how human activities have altered global ecosystems since the Industrial Revolution. We will critically assess scientific evidence for anthropogenic changes, and consider both impacts and solutions to the challenges of global changes. Relies heavily on reading of primary scientific literature and group participation and discussion. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 and one college-level science course.
FR332: Voices of Dissent in Early Modern France or the Quest for Freedom
Four credit hours. Dionne
An introduction to free-thinkers and libertines, and an exploration of the concept of freedom. We shall consider great thinkers and provocative writers like Montaigne, Molière, Diderot, and Sade, who challenged religious and social norms in search of a more just society. Through close reading of texts, and discussion of the their historical and cultural context, from the wars of religion to the French revolution, we will study how the writers dissimulate their controversial opinions, while advocating liberté de pensée in the face of fanaticism and dogmatic thinking. This course will conclude with Laclos’ great book Dangerous Liaisons.
Four credit hours. Ellis
An introduction to the modern short prose form that flourished in 19th century German-language literature. As a literary genre whose introduction dates back to the 14th century in the European tradition, the novella is an important part of the development of German literature and discursive practices that include art, gender, madness, violence, the normative, law and order. We will examine the ways in which the novella holds our attention through its adherence to multiple reading and writing experiences. This course is designed to facilitate close and attentive readings, emphasizing textual interpretation and concise writing. Prerequisite: German 128.
GM342: Contested Subjects in German Culture
Four credit hours. Ellis
Introduction to critical analysis of contested subjects in German and German-speaking cultures. While topics vary, this course will refine close reading skills of written and visual texts, including poetry, works of art, drama, short stories, prose, and film that focus on culturally contested topics. Focus on critical, written and interpretive analysis, student presentations, and exposure to relevant cultural, theoretical, and historical sources. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: A 200-level German course.
GS397: Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, Settler Colonialism
Four credit hours. Maidhof
We live in a postcolonial world-or is it a colonial one? Is colonialism ever really over? In this course, we will read historical, anthropological, and theoretical texts on colonialism from the Spanish Conquest in Latin America to ongoing settler expansion in Palestine. Although the history of colonialism and settler colonialism is massive, students will have the opportunity to explore their own interests through a research project on a colonial context of their choosing. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112.
GO149: Utopia in Fiction: Happy Tomorrows or Hells on Earth?
Four credit hours. Babik
The 20th century, famously described by Eric Hobsbawm as the “Age of Extremes,” spawned not just the most violent wars and revolutions in human history but also, in curious contrast, some of the most memorable novelistic visions of perfection. Are these visions meant to merely entertain us or teach us important lessons? Do their authors seek to inspire or warn us? What message do they convey about the possibility and desirability of progress? We will look for answers to these and related questions in novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and The Joke by Milan Kundera.
IT141: Introduction to Italian Literary Studies: Poets, Lovers, Revolutionaries
Four credit hours. Rizzo
In this discussion-intensive course, we will explore the most enduring topics of Italian culture: the nature of love, the role of the artist in society, and the experience of time and death. Students will learn about different artistic genres (lyric poetry, short story, novel, film, contemporary song) and hone analytic skills and writing (rhetorical figures, form-content, stylistics). Students will become familiar with key periods of Italian culture and famous authors (Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Leopardi, Montale, Moravia, Maraini, Deledda, Calvino). In Italian.
MU120: Exploring Music and Gender
Four credit hours. Zelensky
Explores the rich intersection between music and gender, providing students with an introduction to seminal topics in the field. Students will hone their listening skills and develop the necessary vocabulary with which to analyze, discuss, and write intelligently about music. They will explore a range of scholarly approaches to analyzing music and gender and learn to write essays of varying lengths and styles. Students will also be walked through the steps of writing a research paper, from navigating online resources to crafting solid arguments, writing persuasively, and organizing a coherent essay.
PL328: Radical Ecologies
Four credit hours. Peterson
Radical ecologies interrogate our everyday, scientific, and metaphysical conceptions of nature, they emphasize that environmental problems in human-to-nature relations originate in human-to-human relations (e.g., gender, class, and race relations), and they call for comprehensive social and cultural changes through their critiques of existing social forms. They critically explore the historical, cultural, ethical, political, economic, and technological aspects of the place of the human in nature. Readings from anarchist social ecology, deep ecology, ecofeminism, and ecosocialism.
RU242: Russian Cinema From Lenin to Putin (in English)
Four credit hours. Monastireva-Ansdell
Following Lenin’s famous dictum, “Cinema is our most important art,” early Soviet directors revolutionized the art of filmmaking using dynamic visual practices to convey complex ideological messages about the first socialist society in the world. From revolutionary montage cinema and Stalinist propaganda musicals, to masterpieces of the Soviet New Wave and Putin-era patriotic blockbusters, filmmakers have actively participated in the transformation of society through revolutionary, totalitarian and national mythmaking. MW 2:30-3:45 pm. First-Year Students welcome. A, I,Energy/Exhaustion course: examines the potential and limits of the 1917 Russian Revolution both as a lived experience captured on reel and through the innovative experimentation with the cinematic language.
RE397: Biblical Prophecy and Apocalypse
Four credit hours. Emanuell
What is the meaning of biblical prophecy? What does biblical prophecy have to do with stories about the end of the world? This course is designed to introduce students to the critical study of prophecy, apocalypse, and the “end of days.” Throughout the semester, we will focus on the historical, cultural, and theological contexts in which biblical prophecies and apocalypses were written. We will also put into dialogue early Christ-centered writings with Jewish prophetic and apocalyptic texts, leaving room to question to what extent early Christ-followers made sense of Jesus and the end of days in light of traditional Jewish sources. Contemporary receptions of the ancient texts (e.g., zombie movies) will also be considered.
SP397: Struggle, Memory, and Truth: Human Rights in Latin America
Four credit hours. Gardeazabal Bravo
An overview of human rights literature and culture in Latin America. Exploration of literary works that reveal the contradictions and complexities stemming from human rights’ discourse and their relation to different kinds of violence (structural, gender-based, slow). Students will study how writers, filmmakers, and artists examine criticisms of the logic of human rights and the humanitarian, hierarchical, or therapeutic view it contains. By reading genres like testimony, post-conflict, and post-dictatorship literature we will examine the importance of the cultural representation of human rights violations as part of the different processes of mourning, justice, and historical memory, while we reflect on the limits of literary language regarding the representation of certain types of violence. Prerequisite: A 200-level Spanish literature, culture, or film course.
One credit hour. Kocevski, Walker
How does energy and its limits shape our lives? To address this question, this course will consider how energy connects artistic and technological innovations, local communities and oppressive structures of power, political activism and affective fatigue, histories of environmental change and societal collapse, and the origin of life and entropic fate of the universe. Students will attend public lectures by visiting scholars and Colby faculty. These lectures will examine the political stakes of negotiating our relation to energy and exhaustion from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Students will engage in focused discussion and short reflection papers.
TD115: Theater Technique Lab: Shakespeare Conflict and Combat
Two credit hours. Weinblatt
Exploring Shakespeare’s complex language and imagery through the voice and body can unlock a deep connection to the ideas and emotions of his stage classics. This interactive lab course will focus on the essential element in all drama: conflict. Through course work students will examine poetic structure, word choice and punctuation to reveal clues about the motivations of some of the Bard’s best-known feuding lovers and mortal enemies. Students will engage with the wit and precision of battling through wordplay and then advance to the basics of stage combat to physically explore the intensity of conflict that goes beyond language. All participants will learn basic acting techniques and the fundamentals of safe combat choreography through scene work culminating in final presentations for the Colby community.
TD247: Performing the Museum
Four credit hours. Shanks
Explores the intersection of museums and performance. Museums occupy important roles in our cultural landscape. In recent decades, art museums have increasingly included the work of performance-based artists. We will historicize the relationship between museums, live performance, display strategies, and collecting practices. Foundational ideas: the archive, the collection, and questions of historicization will frame our discussions around the term museum and how it functions as performance. With a focus on display, we will question how bodies are framed by and placed within museums. With a series of contemporary case studies, we will question how performers and curators negotiate staging performance in museum spaces.
TD297: Choreography for the Camera: The Art of Athletics
Four credit hours. Kloppenberg
Examines the aesthetic properties of the expenditure of bodily, physical energy through practical explorations in choreography and filmmaking. We take as source material the effortful movement of athletics, exploring how to aestheticize and translate that action through choreographic logic and by framing it in for the screen. Course begins with contextual theoretical frameworks for choreographic practice and dance for the camera and concludes with practical experience producing a film. Briefly considers notions of spectatorship and audience, considering the distinctions between live events and events on the screen. No prior experience necessary.
WP115: First-Year Writing: The Face of Poverty in American Literature
Four credit hours. Harrington
Invites students to explore American writing (fiction and narrative non-fiction) through the lens of poverty, with a special focus on depictions of homes and homelessness. We will investigate how writers construct “the face of poverty” in such works as Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, Stephen Crane’s Maggie; A Girl of the Streets, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, and reflect critically on notions of class in today’s era of income inequality. Assignments will include short essays, a Colby Museums writing assignment, a research project, and a reflective blog.