Fall 2020

CN435: Chinese Women from Mao to Market
Four credit hours. Zhang

Explores the shifting political discourses and visual representations of Chinese women from Mao’s socialist China (1949-1978) to post-Mao market-reform China (1978 to present). Drawing on primary sources such as propaganda posters, cover images and selected texts from Women of China, the official magazine of All-China Federation of Women (ACFW), students gain linguistic, visual, and historical knowledge on state feminism, gender equality, birth control policy, and impact of market reform and consumer culture on women in China from 1949 to the present. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab. Prerequisite: Chinese 322.

EN370: Literature and Medicine: Voices from the Margins
Four credit hours. Sibara

Explores what we can learn about the field of medicine from works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction that prioritize the perspectives of those most vulnerable and marginalized in mainstream medicine. Thus, patient-centered narratives by people of color, people with disabilities, poor people, women, and queer and genderqueer folks will be our focus, alongside theoretical readings from the fields of women of color feminism, critical disability studies, and biopolitics. Our explorations in this Humanities Lab course will also include visits to the Art Museum and Special Collections. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab.

EN493: Women Writers in Britain and the Empire
Four credit hours. Gibson

Focusing on women writers in the long nineteenth century, this seminar addresses multiple borders and margins: the porous borders between Britain and the empire, the borders created by internal colonialism within Britain, the shifting definitions and power of the provincial and the metropolitan. Case studies ranging from the ex-slave Mary Prince to the South Asian poet Toru Dutt, from the ‘provincial’ Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte) to Michael Field (Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper). How were women writers marginalized–and how did they overcome this marginalization? How did they cross geographical borders, genres, and gendered boundaries? Fulfills English C and P. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab.

IT346: Geographies of R/existence: ’70s Liberation Movements in Italy
Four credit hours. Cannamela

This Boundaries and Margins Humanities Lab explores three Italian liberation movements of the 1970s–early 1980s: the femminismo della differenza (feminism of sexual difference), the gay liberation front (in particular, the radical thought of Mario Mieli), and the trans* movement. The goal is to investigate how these interrelated movements have questioned notions of boundaries that have been taken for granted, and traced new embodied and political geographies. Through in-class discussions, hands-on activities, and conversations with guest speakers, the class will engage in a debate about gender and sexuality that can spur dialogue across cultures while suggesting new modes of thinking, doing, and being in a place. Taught in English.

WP115: First-Year Writing: Writing through the Multicultural Lens
Four credit hours. Gherwash

We will use the theme of multiculturalism/multilingualism as our framework to analyze a multitude of non-fictional texts that are composed by writers from a variety of cultural/linguistic backgrounds. The primary goal is to encourage students to question, interrogate, and challenge the stereotypes that have prevailed in the news and social media, aiming to foster cross-cultural communication. Students will write four papers that center around a topic of their choice. Students from underrepresented contexts, domestically and globally, as well as those with a functional knowledge of an additional language(s) are especially welcome. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab.

Spring 2021

AR398: Copies, Fakes, and Forgeries   
Four credit hours.  Plesch

Originality, authenticity, uniqueness, and value are central to understanding how copies, fakes, and forgeries have been understood over history. Topics include: art history as a discipline, art making and the technologies involved in creating convincing reproductions (meant to deceive or not), the detection of forgeries and the technologies involved. Comparison of original/authentic works and copies/forgeries will sharpen observational skills and show that how we look (and what we see) is guided by cultural, disciplinary, and commercial preconceptions and expectations. Students are expected to participate in the creation of an online virtual exhibition and complete research and writing assignments. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab.

EN493: 17th-century Literature and the Natural World
Four credit hours. Sagaser

This Environmental Humanities lab and Boundaries/Margins theme course explores English literature written during the scientific revolution, from Shakespeare’s King Lear to poems and prose by Lanyer, Philips and other women, to Milton’s Paradise Lost. How do these texts imagine the natural world? How do they propose or challenge boundaries between human and non-human animals? How do they strive to reconcile (or refrain from reconciling) the material world and beliefs in an immaterial realm beyond? And what do these texts and their afterlives teach us about both the persistence and variability of influential attitudes toward the environment from the 17th-century to the present day? We seek answers through lively reading strategies, creative exercises, and research both online and in Special Collections archives.

GS227: Visual Ways of Knowing: Transcultural Documentary Filmmaking
Four credit hours. Razsa

Teaches audio and video recording methods, research practice, documentary filmmaking ethics, and video editing. Special emphasis is placed on learning to understand, collaborate, and tell documentary stories across a variety of socioeconomic and cultural differences. Students will produce audio, video, and text contributions to an online interactive documentary that tells Central Maine stories of work, broadly construed. Requires significant travel and student initiative including full attendance at the Camden International Film Festival. Humanities lab course.

SP346: Race, Rights, and Land in the Americas
Four credit hours. Ramos Flores

Examines issues of race, rights, and land for subaltern subjects across the Americas. By focusing on Afro-diasporic peoples, students will better understand how systematic issues of race and the disenfranchisement of black bodies are not isolated to any one area, but a product of the legacy of slavery. We will explore how these issues are ever-present for Black subjects in the Americas through various examples from Brazil, Central America, the U.S., and Maine. By examining archival materials and artistic works, students take part in a range of projects that show the multifaceted nature of land rights for the Afro-Americas. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab.

TD245: Performance Art: The Body Politic
Four credit hours. Brown

A survey of some of the histories, theories, contexts, and developing practices within performance art. We will delve into the work of artists from a range of historical, geographic and cultural contexts through text, performance materials, video, archival collections, field trips to performances and artist visits. Most importantly, we will develop our own critical voices and perspectives through embodied engagement, producing a bi-weekly performance art showcase at Colby. Through a series of guided workshops, we will try on strategies that performance artists have established in their own practices and we will create our own in order to ask: what limits, definitions, and structures can performance art intervene upon and reimagine in our contemporary moment? Boundaries and Margins humanities lab.