Courses 2017-2018

Fall 2017

AR287: The Artist’s Book: Designing and Producing Publications as Art Four credit hours. Green Takes students through the history and production of artists’ books, the unique and limited-edition publications that are themselves considered works of art. Students learn to produce their own books, from typography and page design through printing and binding. Many forms of the artist’s book will be considered, including zines, photo books, visual diaries, and fine editions. Students across all disciplines are encouraged to enroll. Origins humanities lab. Prerequisite: Any 100-level studio art course.
AY365: Space, Place, and Belonging Four credit hours. Tate. Examines the origins of human claims to belonging in particular places and landscapes. We consider embodied space, as well as how place produces and is produced through gender, race, and other social identities. Our analysis spans spatial scales, with a particular focus on the Americas. We examine the social processes of community formation, enabling connection even as they generate exclusions and boundaries; the infrastructures of place and community, their material deployment and how they enable particular forms of belonging; and how mobility in the contemporary moment contributes to the emergence of new identities as well vulnerabilities. Origins theme course.
EN/ES337: Climate Fiction Four credit hours. Walker. This course will investigate contemporary literature, film, and media in the developing genre known as “Climate Fiction.” We will situate these texts within the Environmental Humanities, an interdisciplinary field that combines scientific-cultural discourses about the environment with humanistic concerns for justice. We will ask how cli-fi narrates disaster on a global scale, but also strives to imagine more just futures that combine environmentalism and social equality. These texts will be paired with philosophical and eco-critical writings that will aid our development of the humanistic methodologies needed to analyze this new genre.
IT397 Zine! A Practical Introduction to Contemporary Poetry (in English) Four credit hours. Rizzo. Offers students an opportunity to engage directly with some of the most exciting poetry written in the past few decades, create their own texts, and collect them in a zine (a minimalist paper journal) we will be editing. First, we will become familiar with the most common non-lyrical poetic techniques (chance-based, collage, automatic writing, etc.), as well as the artists that invented and practiced them over the past few decades. Then, we will compose brand new poems, to be included in our very own zine. Guest lecturers and field trips will enhance the class experience. Origins humanities lab.
ST132: Origins: Order v. Chaos One credit hour. Fleming, Rizzo. This arts and humanities theme course focuses on origins in their many forms–political, literary, artistic, cultural, social, scientific, and conceptual. Involves public lectures by visiting scholars and Colby faculty representing many disciplines, with focused discussion and required short weekly student reflection papers posted on the course weblog. Origins theme course.
ST232: Seminar: Origins Three credit hours. Fleming. A seminar on Origins involving readings, discussions, presentations, interactions with the guest speakers, a required poster (to be presented as the final event in Science, Technology, and Society 132) and a final research paper. Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Science, Technology, and Society 132.

Spring 2018

AS172: Extraterrestrial Life Three credit hours. Kocevski. Is Earth home to the only living organisms in the universe or should we expect life elsewhere? If extraterrestrial civilizations do exist, can we expect to make contact with them? We will focus on the clues to understanding the origins of life on Earth and its possible distribution throughout the cosmos. By the end of the course, you should be able to answer the following questions: How did Earth and the solar system form? Why is Earth habitable, but Venus and Mars are not? Are there other worlds that might support life? How many advanced civilizations might exist in our galaxy?
BI374: Advanced Neurobiology Three or four credit hours. Martin. The human brain is a very special organ, responsible for much of the qualities and abilities that define what it is to be “human.” Our brain, like the rest of our body, has evolved from common ancestors we share with apes, mice, even insects and worms. Many of these animals have brains that can plan, communicate, focus on a goal, or learn new ways to get what they want. In this course, we will read from current research literature on the origin of the human brain. We’ll discuss how and when features of our minds evolved, what features we share with other animals, and what features originated with our species. We will produce original scholarship on topics we choose, synthesizing the current understanding of what “Origins” mean to the study of the brain.
CI298: Visual Storytelling: Found Materials and the Archive Four credit hours. Murphy. />In the past century, humans have created (and lost) so many visual objects — from 16mm films of vacations, to snapshots of graduations and birthdays, to scrapbooks from childhood, to postcards from abroad. More recently we have created and forgotten about Snapchats, Facebook posts, and digital videos. We will take these ephemeral materials and bring them back to life through the art of visual storytelling. We will use materials from our own lives, from the Colby archive in Special Collections, and from the Northeast Historic Film archive to tell new and compelling stories. Students will also learn how to shoot and edit digital video
CI321: Topics in Film Theory: Mainely Cinema: Film and the Archive Four credit hours. Wessels. Through studying film on a local level, we can better understand both the origins of cinema in a particular place and the continued relevance of film history more broadly – as its beginnings reveal the ways in which films reflects and influences social, political, and cultural contexts. This Origins themed Humanities lab will focus on the study of local contexts of cinema production and reception, as well as how images of a particular location (Maine) develop meaning. Much of the work that goes into this kind of research requires archival expertise – the ability to sift through newspapers, film collections, web-based archives, etc. This course will provide both a theoretical framework for archival research and practical experience engaging with archival materials. In addition, students will have the opportunity to take a research trip to the Northeast Historic Film archives in Bucksport, develop their own research projects related to film in Maine, and create a website to share their findings with a public audience.
EA221: Second Language Pedagogy Four credit hours. Wang. An introduction to current research and theory in the area of second language acquisition (SLA). Students will gain an understanding of theories of SLA; the similarities and differences across first and second language acquisition; and the role of individual differences in language learning (including age, first language, and aptitude, among others). Students will also become familiar with the implications for SLA of sociolinguistic differences for English across time and space in the United States. Intended for students who are interested in second language learning and teaching.
EN239: Literature Against Distortion Four credit hours. Hanlon. Literature Against Distortion takes literary and archival research as a foundation for combating misinformation, specious claims, faulty arguments, “alternative facts,” “fake news,” and other violations of intellectual rigor and integrity. It leads students through a series of hands-on exercises, from archival research in special collections to civic engagement projects, designed to give students the tools to recognize, describe, and persuasively undo the proliferating distortions in their daily lives. This Origins Humanities Lab investigates the historical origins of distortion as a political strategy, as well as the origins of the rhetorical study of distortion.
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 primarily in Quebec, Maine and Louisiana. Postcolonial, transatlantic and border theories will be used to better understand the French experience 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. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.
IT298 Noisemakers: Tracing the Origins of Modern Music in Italy Four credit hours. Ferrando. We will explore the history of noise and its impact on 20th-century Italian music. In a multimedia environment that fosters an atmosphere of creative collaboration and encourages creative confidence, students will produce digital soundmaps of the city of Waterville and the Colby campus. Sources will include music, sound/noise clips, manifestos, poetry, short stories, essays, city plans, historical accounts, scholarly works, and online archives as well as other digital humanities projects. The lab will travel to Harvard for a conversation with the Harvard Group for New Music. Origins humanities lab. Prerequisite: Italian 128.
RE221: The Jews of Maine Four credit hours. Freidenreich. Participants will advance popular understanding of the experiences of Maine’s Jews past and present by producing mini-exhibitions for display at the Maine State Museum, along with thematically related programs for school groups and adult audiences. In conjunction with the 2017-18 humanities theme, “Origins,” we will explore the question, “What does it mean to be from Maine?” Students will develop transferable skills in research, multimedia communication, and collaboration while gaining a richer understanding of how Jews and others have staked their claim to authenticity as Mainers.
RU242: Ethnic Wars and Peace in (Post-)Soviet Cinema (in English) Four credit hours. Monastireva-Ansdell. The impassioned relations Russia and other post-Soviet states share today, be it at war (Ukraine) or in peaceful alliance (Eurasian Union), originated in Soviet constructions of ethnicity. From Lenin’s post-revolutionary cultivation of ethnic identities, we will proceed to Stalin’s hierarchy of depoliticized “symbolic ethnicities,” through non-Russian artists’ interrogation of Russians’ cultural dominance and celebration of political independence. Students will collaboratively map cinematic representations of such major policies as “friendship of the peoples,” “national in form, socialist in content,” “backward” and “enemy” nations, and “first among equals”; and cook a “friendship-of-the-peoples” meal. Conducted in English.
SP493: Seminar: Queer Spain Four credit hours. Allbritton. The representation of queer lives and identities in recent Spanish history. We will engage with Spanish film, literature, and culture to consider and question the ‘origins’ of LGBTQ identity in Spain. Have we always imagined queerness as a coupling of people or movements to signify alterity and difference? Who gets to tell the story of queer lives in Spain, and whether such histories form a string of texts that resist silence and fear? Is Spanish queerness related to a transnational sense of queer identity? Thinking of queerness as a spectrum allows us to challenge the borders of sex and gender both within Spain and within our own cultures.
WG343: Native and Postcolonial Feminisms Four credit hours. Thomas. Covers many canonical postcolonial and indigenous feminist texts. While indigenous and postcolonial feminists share a gendered analysis of colonial practices, there are also inherent tensions between them wrought from the geographic and historic particularities of state formations. We will question how coloniality, decoloniality, and settler governance circulate (or not) between indigenous and postcolonial feminisms. How is decoloniality similar/different? What do these similarities/differences mean for transnational feminist organizing? What types of competing imaginaries are at play in decolonial futures?