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The Metamorphoses Project is a campus-wide web of events linked to the Theater and Dance Department’s November 2009 production of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses. The goal of the Metamorphoses Project is to explore the broader theme of mythological narrative through history to contemporary life, and how myths operate in and through the various disciplines that make up a liberal arts environment. Join us this fall as we celebrate the process of liberal learning by exploring these questions through exhibits, performances and course work.
A research seminar intended to investigate the different ways in which sexuality is represented throughout the history of art, with references to visual representations of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
The initial gateway to the study of literature for English majors, introducing students to the genres of poetry, drama, and fiction; emphasizing close reading; raising issues of genre and form; and providing practice in writing critical essays and in conducting scholarly research. One of the first short pieces of fiction we will read will be Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.
Students will produce a guide to the exhibit of Metamorphosis-inspired artworks from the Colby and Bowdoin Collections. Each student will select 2 works, compose tags, write essays for the guidebook, record an aural introduction to one of the pieces, and finally deliver a PowerPoint presentation on one of their two pieces at a public forum at the end of the semester.
Philosophy and Art. Uses philosophical theory to evaluate our experience of art forms such as film, painting, literature, and music. Considers questions such as: is art simply a matter of taste, or can it be held to objective standards? What is beauty? Are artworks that are not beautiful still art? Is art valuable because it gives us pleasure or because it educates us? Does art have social or political value, or is its value purely in the delight it gives the individual? Our study of philosophical theory will be supplemented by consideration of specific works of art.
Religious Responses to Harry Potter. The fantasy novels of J.K. Rowling have prompted massive reaction from a variety of religious groups. But are the books really religiously based, and if so, what religion(s) do they actually draw upon? Close reading of Harry Potter novels will uncover some of the religions, folklore, and ethics which have contributed to the world of Hogwarts. Students will research the principle voices in the discussion, develop an understanding of both Christian and Pagan religious expressions, and write their own evidence-based analysis of the question, what are the religious influences in the Harry Potter novels?
As part of a discussion uncovering the deeper cultural roots of weather and climate engineering, it is instructive to consider the wisdom invested in mythological stories, since, whether we realize it or not, much of Western civilization rests on these foundations. In Greek mythology the youth Phaethon lost control of the sun chariot. His recklessness caused extensive damage to the Earth before Zeus shot him out of the sky.
The Dramatic Experience. Students will read and analyze Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, meet the creative team responsible for the Theater and Dance Department production of the play, and offer a critical response to the production at the end of the term.