AY297: The Art and Politics of Revolution in Latin America
Four credit hours. Tate
Considers the role of revolution in Latin American political life, and its impact in artistic production in the societies where revolutions, or revolutionary movements, have taken hold. Students will identify and analyze the interconnection between revolutionary thought throughout Latin America, as well as the forms and practices of artistic production that accompany it. Through assignments and class discussions, students will develop their skills of anthropological thinking and critical analysis, and enhance their ability to express complex ideas and to support their arguments using concrete evidence in both written and oral modes of communication. Revolutions humanities lab. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112.
AY344: Black Radical Imaginations
Four credit hours. Bhimull
This seminar is a critical, transdisciplinary examination of black radical imaginations, an idea used by Robin D. G. Kelley to capture and release the transformative power of collective visions for and dreams of a new society. It explores how black people have long used imagination as a political strategy for survival, resistance, emancipation, liberation – to create worlds of joy and love free of oppression. It draws attention to the creative tradition of black intellectual activism and invites us to consider its relationship to social action and change. Revolutions theme course.
Four credit hours. Tilden
Students will select and discuss works from current literature regarding genomics research in any area: biomedical, evolutionary, environmental, etc. Discussions will cover all levels of research: laboratory, current technological advances, computational tools, and ethical considerations. Revolutions theme course.
EN233: Data and Literature in the Scientific Revolution
Four credit hours. Hanlon
This Revolutions theme course examines the origins and history of data in its epistemological context, focusing on the ways that literary texts contributed to Scientific-Revolution notions of data, and on how literary texts themselves provide data for understanding the literatures and cultures of the Scientific Revolution. As such, it combines histories, imaginative literatures, philosophy of science, political philosophy, and theories of data and data science to critically assess the relationship between data, meaning, and revolution as that relationship played out in 17th and 18th-century Britain.
EN262: Poetry of Revolution
Four credit hours. Sagaser
Poetry has a long history of undermining authority, challenging assumptions, and forging connections between bold and daring minds. We will examine Renaissance and 17th-century texts that are both poetically and politically powerful, from speeches of Elizabeth I to Shakespearean political drama to poems advancing new scientific ideas to the revolutionary oratory of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost. We will also explore the influence of Shakespeare and Milton on political discourse in the early United States and ask how it illuminates the rhetoric unfolding around us this election year. Revolutions theme course.
FR377: Staging the Revolution: The Theater of Revolt
Four credit hours. Dionne
French and Francophone theater have a lengthy fascination with revolution–against injustice, despotism, sexism, slavery, and religious and social constraints. We will read, analyze, and discuss plays by Molière, Anouilh, de Gouges, Camus, and Glissant, among others. These dramas, written before, during, and after the French Revolution, will allow us to explore the motivation for rebellion and revolution. As the point of departure for a broader analysis of the revolutionary impulse, we will discuss The Rebel by Camus. Revolutions theme course. Prerequisite: A 200-level French course.
GO359: Political Ideologies and Revolutionary Movements in Europe
Four credit hours. Yoder
An exploration of major ideological currents and movements in modern Europe. Focuses on various forms of radicalism on the right and left of the political spectrum against the background of important political developments in Europe in the last century, such as the Bolshevik Revolution, the rise of fascism and Nazism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, the explosion of nationalisms and fundamentalisms, and the collapse of Soviet-style communism. Counts toward the comparative politics requirement. Revolutions theme course.
HI255 Histories of Southeast Asia: Slavery, Diasporas, and Revolutions
Four credit hours. Van der Meer
Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic economic and cultural regions in the world and central to Obama’s pivot to Asia. Consisting of the modern states of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, the region has been a crossroads for people, cultures, flora, and fauna for millennia, making it one of the most diverse in the world. We trace its long history from the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms that produced Angkor Wat and the Borobudur to the present by focusing on three cohesive themes: slavery, diasporas, and revolutions. Revolutions theme course.
HI337: The Age of the American Revolution
Four credit hours. Tortora
The American revolutionary period (c. 1760-1820), blending political, social, intellectual, and cultural history, from 18th-century America as a society built on contradictions (liberty and slavery, property and equality, dependence and independence) through the rebellion against Britain to the democratic, slave-owning, egalitarian, libertarian, and hyper-commercial world of the early republic. Revolutions theme course.
LT232: Love and Revolution
Four credit hours. O’Neill
Explores the role of Latin love poetry in the cultural revolution that accompanied the bloody death of the Republic and the rise of the Imperial princeps. Catullus, the originator of Latin love poetry grew up in the shadow of Spartacus’ slave revolt and rebellions across the Roman world. Tibullus and Propertius established the genre of love elegy against the backdrop of a wave of failed uprisings and violent power struggles. The revolution that brought the emperor Augustus to power soon metamorphosed into an autocratic empire incompatible with the ideals of love elegy, which Ovid abandoned when he was sent into exile. Students will develop digital humanities skills by creating web-based commentaries of assigned poems. Revolutions humanities lab.
PL297: Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution
Four credit hours. Cohen
At the start of the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, Western thought located humanity at the center of a harmonious, qualitatively defined, and purpose-filled cosmos. By the 18th century, the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic complex of theories had been replaced by Newton’s mechanical, quantitatively defined universe. We will focus on the interaction of philosophic and scientific ideas that brought about those changes; on the debates that created the conceptual language of “revolution”, and on how well the metaphor of revolution helps us understand this episode in intellectual history. Revolutions theme course.
RU237: Revolutionary Desire and Deed
Four credit hours. Murphy
Beginning with the Decembrist Uprising of 1825, Russian intellectuals, writers, and political activists became obsessed with the theory and practice of revolutionary resistance to serfdom, outdated social structures, and an unremitting monarchy. We trace the course of liberal dreams and intellectual ferment through radical dogmas, terrorist deeds, popular dissent, and the euphoric destruction of the “old” in favor of the “new” delivered by the October, 1917, Russian Revolution. Texts include short stories, narrative poems, novels, memoirs, pamphlets, pageantry, and early Soviet film by authors from Dostoevsky to Figner to Lenin. First-year students welcome. Conducted in English. Revolutions theme course.
SO297: Revolutions and Revolutionaries
Four credit hours. Perez
Throughout history, individuals have organized with others to bring about radical social change. This course explores the experiences of activists, radicals, and revolutionaries in a wide variety of settings. What is it like to be on the front lines fighting for social transformation? Why do people risk life and limb to do so? How do activists advance their goals? We will examine sociological research, biographical studies, political theory, and historical sources for insights into the lives of those who make social and revolutionary movements possible. Revolutions theme course.
SP197: After the Revolutions: Masculinities in Mexico and Cuba
One credit hour. White
Focuses on the representation of iconic revolutionary figures in the Mexican and Cuban revolutions–such as Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Che Guevara, and a young Fidel Castro–and the subsequent performance of shifting masculinities in their aftermath. Considers how traditional masculinity has defined “ideal” revolutionaries and citizens, and how artists have reinforced or resisted those limits. Students will stage one of the contemporary theatrical works studied and will be involved in all aspects of staging and direction, including acting, costuming, lighting, sound and set design. Does not count toward the Spanish major. Revolutions humanities lab.
ST132: Continuing Revolutions
One credit hour. Dionne, Fleming
Focuses on revolutions in their many forms: political, literary, artistic, cultural, social, scientific, and conceptual. What constitutes a revolution? How are revolutions to be judged? What revolutions do we still need to have? Involves public lectures by visiting scholars and Colby faculty, focused discussion, and weekly required web posts. Revolutions humanities lab.
TD197: Revolutionary Movements: Black Dance in America
One credit hour. Kloppenberg
From Broadway to the dance hall, the concert stage to the street, the 20th century saw the birth of myriad dance forms pioneered and developed by African Americans, contending with their experiences by imagining new ways to (literally) move through the world, and using dance as a declaration of identity, a way to be in communion with other bodies, to celebrate, to commiserate, and to stand up. Students will view films celebrating the evolution of dance forms in America–from tap, jazz, and contemporary dance to the Lindy Hop to Hip Hop–that reveal how deeply African Diasporic movement patterns are imbedded in aesthetic and social experience. Revolutions humanities lab.
CL145: Between Revolution and Tradition: Julius Caesar and Augustus
Two credit hours. Roisman
How Julius Caesar and Augustus both contributed to the crisis of the Roman republic and tried to resolve it. Topics include conflicts between republican traditions and a monarchical regime, Caesar’s dictatorship, his image, the Ides of March, Augustus’s attainment of sole power, his relationship with senators, commoners, and slaves, the Roman games, and society and literature in the Augustan age. Revolutions theme course.
GE197: Earth in Revolt
Three credit hours. Nelson
The world is naturally a dangerous place, and some human activities are making it more so. Students will not only come to appreciate and understand the scale and scope of geologic hazards, but how human industry and activities are making some of these hazards even more dangerous. Will help students learn how to avoid putting themselves at risk, as well as how their actions can help to mitigate some of these risks to others. Credit cannot be earned for both this course and Geology 141. Revolutions theme course.
IT197/IT141: Poets, Lovers, and Revolutionaries in Italian Literature
Three credit hours. Buonocore
Come explore the most intriguing connections in Italian literature: that between love, poetry, and political power. We will analyze the inherently revolutionary character of vernacular love poetry from its inception.. We will concentrate on two key periods in Italian history, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as the Romantic Age, which saw the rise of the revolutionary struggles for Italian independence, the Risorgimento. Students will learn about different artistic genres (lyric poetry, short story, novel, film, contemporary song, visual arts) and hone analytical writing and skills (rhetorical figures, form-content, stylistics). Students will become familiar with key periods of Italian culture and famous authors (Francis of Assisi, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Gaspara Stampa, Michelangelo, Artemisia Gentileschi, Galileo, Goldoni, Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni) and will learn how to trace ideas in literary texts. Revolutions theme course.
BI278: Biomedical Genomics and Bioinformatics
Four credit hours. Tilden
The genomics era is producing vast quantities of data that are revolutionizing our understanding of evolution, disease, and variation. Publicly accessible and rapidly expanding databases now hold entire genomes and transcriptomes for numerous species. We will take a computational bioinformatics approach to exploring this data, from single genes and proteins to entire genomes. We will explore the technologies used to produce the data, as well as other current, emerging, and controversial genomic technologies. While the laboratory is computer based, no prior computational experience is necessary. Revolutions theme course.
BI376: Development, Genes and Evolution
Four credit hours. Angelini
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) is a growing interdisciplinary field at the intersections of development, genetics and evolutionary biology. Evo-devo investigates whether and how mechanistic processes that generate natural variation bias the outcomes of evolution and how these mechanisms themselves evolve. This approach has been hailed by some in biology as a revolutionary upset to traditional Darwinian evolutionary biology. Some biologists view evo-devo as simply an update, while its strongest critics see it as conceptually misguided. In BI376 Development, Genes & Evolution we explore this integrative field and tackle these issues directly. Students will read Darwin, as well as recent primary literature in biology and commentary for and against the need for a “new evolutionary synthesis”. Ideas are developed through an interactive blog and in-class discussions. Students also work towards a final paper and CLAS presentation that focuses on a research agenda or open question at the confluence of development, genes and evolution. Revolutions theme course.
EN334: The Age of Revolution
Four credit hours. Hanlon
Examines the literatures and histories associated with three major liberal revolutions of the European Enlightenment (U.S., French, Haitian) while placing these in the context of the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. Considers the influence of the Scientific Revolution on political revolution in the long 18th century. Revolutions theme course.
EN333: Environmental Revolutions in American Literature and Culture
Four credit hours. Sibara
Explores the role that literature and the arts have played in the ongoing “environmental revolution” waged by people of color and their allies. Case studies will introduce students to a range of environmental justice issues and movements, bringing a humanities-based approach to topics most often treated through the lenses of science, law, and policy. Texts will include multiethnic American literature, film, and music, as well as several artworks in the Colby College Museum of Art. We will analyze how environmental justice activists, scholars, and artists have responded to new challenges while also revising core concepts and priorities of mainstream environmentalism. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Revolutions theme course.
HI112: Revolutions of Modern Europe
Four credit hours. Scheck
Does modern European history advance toward a specific goal (such as democracy, freedom, rationalization, social equality, secularization, mass consumerism, bureaucratization)? Using the revolutions theme broadly, we examine causes and patterns of change in mentalities, warfare, politics, and the economy. Special themes include the French Revolution of 1789, the European revolutions of 1848, the Russian revolutions of 1917, the world wars as revolutionary events, and the revolutions of 1989. Revolutions theme course.
HI184: History of the Modern Middle East
Four credit hour. Turner
The history of the Middle East from the post-Suleymanic Ottoman Empire to the present. Examines the fall of the Ottoman and Safavid empires, the rise of Western dominance, the struggle for independence, attempts at reform, the Arab-Israeli conflict, oil, the Iranian revolution, the Gulf War, the rise of Islamist movements, and ongoing repercussions. Particular focus on the interplay between religion and politics and the nature of power and authority. Designed to give the historical background necessary for understanding current events in the Middle East in their proper context. Revolutions theme course.
HI250: History of Modern China: Everyday Life and Revolution
Four credit hours. LaCouture
Introduces students to the history of modern China from the Qing Dynasty to the present day, focusing on the changing relationship between revolution and everyday life. Lectures and discussions will introduce a big picture survey of Chinese history, as well as opportunities for in-depth investigation into select case studies that illuminate the everyday lives of Chinese people on the ground. Students will master the chronology of modern Chinese history and develop skills in critical historical analysis. Credit cannot be earned for both this course and History 197, History of Modern China (Fall 2015). Revolutions theme course.
HI298: The Great Experiment: Russia in the Age of War and Revolution
Four credit hours. Sokolsky
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was among the most influential events of the 20th century. Examines why Russia underwent revolutionary upheaval, why the Bolshevik (Communist) Party came to power in 1917 and then prevailed in the Russian Civil War, and how Soviet leaders and citizens sought to create the world’s first revolutionary socialist society. Through lectures, readings, discussions, debates, and independent research, students will engage with some of the major controversies in the history of the revolution and will examine how the many peoples of the Soviet Union experienced the revolutionary era. Revolutions theme course.
HI389: History of Iran
Four credit hours. Turner
Focus on the cultural, social, and political development of Iran from the rise of the Safavid dynasty to the election of Muhammad Khatami in 1997. Particular points of focus: state formation, the influence of the West on 19th-century economic and intellectual development, 20th-century internal struggles between the religious and political elite, the effects of oil and great power intervention, the rise of activist Islam and the revolution, the war with Iraq, and life after Khomeini. Revolutions theme course.
MA376: History of Mathematics
Four credit hours. Gouvea
The history of mathematics with emphasis on the interaction between mathematics, culture, and society. Writing-intensive and involving careful reading of original historical documents. By studying the mathematics of different times and cultures, students will deepen their own understanding of mathematics and develop a clearer idea of how society and mathematics influence each other. A survey of the history of mathematics is followed by a more careful tracing of the development of one theme or topic. Specific topics vary from year to year but often include the mathematics of non-Western cultures. Revolutions theme course.
PS349/350: Seminar and Collaborative Research in Neural Plasticity and Behavior:
The Revolution of Adult-Born Neurons
Four credit hours. Glenn
This course pair centers on the single most revolutionary, paradigm-shifting, dogma-overturning movement in psychology and neuroscience: neural plasticity. The structure and function of our nervous system has captivated scholars for centuries, in some cases millennia, and yet it was only in the last 20 years that the most marked and defining feature of all brains took front and center in the field: the understanding that brains are enormously plastic. And one of the most plastic things an adult brain can do is to grow a new neuron from birth to function: neurogenesis. Students in this course pair will be immersed in the revolutionary research that led to the acceptance of adult neurogenesis and then work in small groups to make their own marks on this revolution by proposing and testing hypotheses about the function of these new neurons. Revolutions theme course.
RU242: Russian Cinema from Lenin to Putin (in English)
Four credit hours. Monastireva-Ansdell
A survey of major periods, genres, and themes of Russia’s “most important art,” including Soviet revolutionary montage cinema of the 1920s, Stalinist “easterns” and propaganda musicals of the 1930s and ’40s, the post-Stalinist cinematic revival of the 1950s and ’60s, and the post-Soviet search for new aesthetics, themes, and heroes. Topics include issues of gender, class, and ethnicity; the theory and aesthetics of Soviet and Russian filmmakers; the development of the Russian and Soviet film industry; issues of censorship, production, and film distribution. Conducted in English. Revolutions theme course.
ST112: Science, Technology, and Society
Four credit hours. Fleming
Critical perspectives on the social aspects of science and technology in our lives, in the world around us, and throughout history. Issues include gender, communications, war, and the environment. Revolutions theme course.