Plan tutorial exploring the drafting and editing of original works of fiction.
Senior plan writing seminar in Asian Studies.
2nd semester of a year long tutorial examining the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Will end in two (2) twenty-five page plan papers.
A ballet class open to both beginners and students with experience. For qualified dancers, a pointe section will be offered after each regular class. Pointe section for qualified students 2:50-3:30.
City of Dreadful Delight, Mexico City: from Tenochtitlan, capital city of the Aztec Empire, to Post-Modern Megalopolis
Meets Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10:30am - 11:20am in Gander 1
This course explores the role of the city in the development of Mexican society and cultures from pre-colonial times to the present. In Latin America, capital cities encapsulate the country's political, industrial, financial, commercial, entertainment, intellectual, cultural, and religious identities. On their streets, and in their public and private buildings which have been built and rebuilt for hundreds of years, rich and poor, native and immigrant, men, women and children have worked, celebrated, rioted, studied, created, voted, fought, thrived, suffered, loved, hated, demonstrated and lived. The course will focus on Mexico City (Mexico) as a case study in which to read the evidence of the historical, political, social, economic, and cultural life of the country. Taught in English, the course is part of a Spring Break Trip to Mexico City.
Required texts available in Marlboro College Bookstore

Course Reader. In Reserve at the library.
Fuentes, Carlos. The Death of Artemio Cruz
Kinsbruner, Jay. The Colonial Spanish-American City (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004) e-brary
León-Portilla, Miguel, ed. The Broken Spears. The Aztec Account of the
Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon Press, 1990.
Todorov, Tzvetan. The Conquest of America. The Question of the Other.
New York: Harper Perennial, 1984.

The central topic of general chemistry is the composition of matter and transformations of matter, and we will continue to focus on how these microscopic transformations underlie our macroscopic experiences. In the second half of this course we will examine in detail models of chemical bonds, reaction kinetics, acid-base equilibria, and electrochemistry. We will also explore some aspects of organic chemistry, and environmental chemistry will continue to be a secondary theme of the course as we relate all of these topics to the effects of human activity on our environment.
The laboratory sessions for the second semester will continue to be an opportunity for students to hone their lab skills and to explore topics and ideas discussed in class. Students will work in teams to devise, conduct and analyze experiments on the synthesis and properties of biofuels, and bio-remediation. We will use primary literature to provide some context for our experiments, and we will continue to focus on employing the principles of green chemistry in our lab experiments. Through this laboratory course you will become familiar with basic lab equipment and protocols. You also have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of chemistry concepts discussed in class (especially the idea that science is a process), and to continue to hone your problem-solving skills.
Producing Low Budget Independent Films: On Camera and Behind the Scenes

Credit: 21 contact hours, 2 credits
Faculty: Chip Hourihan
Location: TBA

Please note: Students working in the production department (locations, assistant directors, production coordinators, unit production managers) for the Northern Borders Film Intensive are expected to take this class.


Low budget independent films, made outside of the studio system, have delivered some of the most compelling film narratives in the past forty years, often by having the freedom to explore the sort of narrative risks that films produced within the studio system choose to ignore. The low budget world has launched the careers of many filmmakers who then moved on to larger studio films, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, and Christopher Nolan. Other independent auteurs, such as Hal Hartley and Jim Jarmusch, have chosen to remain outside of the studio system to explore narratives that by design may have a more limited audience.

This course will explore some of the roots of low budget independent film, including the work of John Cassavetes and early Martin Scorsese, films that themselves drew inspiration from the documentary work and technical innovation of the Maysles brothers. We will also investigate the next generation of American independents and their stylistic debt to these forbears, though such films as Spike Lee’s She's Gotta Have It and Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep.

We will explore the growth of the independent film market, through the establishment and explosion of the Sundance Film Festival, and the emergence of cable tv and DVD sales and rentals as alternatives and adjuncts to theatrical exhibition. We will also discuss the more recent financial collapse of that market, as well as the development of digital production tools to allow for easier access to the tools of filmmaking by a new generation of filmmakers. We will screen and discuss not only American (and select World) dramatic features in the traditional character-driven independent mold, but also select genre pictures, and will track the growth of recent movements such as mumblecore.

This class will involve screenings of independent low budget films, ranging in budget levels from a few thousand dollars to many millions. We will have Skype sessions and perhaps in-class visits with producers and directors of many of these films, and will discuss both the logistical aspects of their production as well as their creative aspects, and will discuss how these two aspects are often closely wed. We will also have conversations with leading development executives and other producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, and actors in the independent film world, for which class members will be expected to prepare both initial and follow-up questions based upon the background of the visitor.


Readings will explore the recent history of American independent film from a producer’s perspective, and will include books as well as blogs. The required texts are:

The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn't Know You Need to Know About Making an Independent Film by Reed Martin

Shooting to Kill by Christine Vachon

Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film by Peter Biskind

Blogs to be followed include Ted Hope’s Hope for Film and Ryan Koo’s No Film School. Handouts will include film critiques and analysis and behind-the-scenes accounts of low budget production.

Films under consideration include:

Salesman, directors Albert & David Maysles (1968)
Husbands, director John Cassavetes (1970)
Mean Streets, dir. Martin Scorsese (1973)
Killer of Sheep, dir. Charles Burnett (1979)
Stranger Than Paradise, dir.Jim Jarmusch (1984)
She's Gotta Have It, dir. Spike Lee (1986)
Sex, Lies, and Videotape, dir. Steven Soderbergh (1989)
Johnny Suede, dir. Tom DiCillo (1991)
Living in Oblivion, dir. Tom DiCillo (1995)
Pulp Fiction, dir. Quentin Tarantino (1994)
Pi, dir. Darren Aronofsky (1998)
Following, dir. Christopher Nolan (1998)
Happiness, dir. Todd Solondz (1998)
Next Stop Wonderland, dir. Brad Anderson (1998)
The Blair Witch Project, dir. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez (1999)
Glissando, dir. Chip Hourihan (2002)
Funny Ha Ha, dir. Andrew Bujalski (2002)
The Dogwalker, dir. Jacques Thelemaque (2002)
Mind the Gap, dir. Eric Schaeffer (2004)
The Puffy Chair, dir. Jay & Mark Duplass (2005)
Brick, dir. Rian Johnson (2005)
Laura Smiles, dir. Jason Ruscio (2006)
Once, dir. John Carney (2006)
Half Nelson, dir. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (2006)
Sugar, dir. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (2008)
Frozen River, dir. Courtney Hunt (2008)
Children of Invention, dir. Tze Chun (2009)
Beginners, dir. Mike Mills (2010)
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, dir. Madeleine Olnek (2011)
Pariah, dir. Dee Rees (2011)

Class participation will be enormously important, and class members will be graded primarily on their participation in class discussion. Each student will be expected to lead class discussion for one class, based upon a selected independent film or a subject related to the writing, production, direction, acquisition, or marketing and distribution of independent films.


• Attend class: Due to the condensed nature of the class, attendance at each and every meeting is critical. One unexcused absence will lead to a reduction of your final grade. Three or more unexcused absences will lead to failure.
• Be prepared for class: Read all the assignments by the day due and come to class prepared to discuss them. Prepare well-researched questions for each in-class guest.
• One 5-7 page paper: This paper is an in-depth analysis of a selected independent film, both an analysis of the work and of its success or failure in the marketplace.
• One 10 page paper: This paper is a presentation of the film Northern Borders to potential investors, highlighting its assets and discussing potential risks, in the style of the investor presentation documents that we will review in class.
• One oral presentation: For this presentation, the student will lead class discussion for one class, on a selected film or subject.


Class attendance & participation 50%
In Class Presentation 15%
Short paper (5-7 pages) 15%
Longer paper (10 pages) 20%

ART583 - Variable Credits - Intermediate

Monday 12:00pm - 1:20pm in Library 202
Tuesday 12:00pm - 1:20pm in Library 202

Faculty: Chip Hourihan

Effective screenwriting requires an understanding of story structure and an ability to shape character, theme, tone, and incident to dramatic effect. This class will focus on the regular practice of story and screenplay development, through writing exercises, character research, narrative construction, and regular revision aimed at producing scripts that can be produced, using available resources. Emphasis will be on writing scripts of twenty or fewer pages, so that they can be regularly critiqued by the instructor and other students, and re-written to maximize impact.

Class will discuss the elements of three-act structure, effective dialogue, and showing rather than telling. We will review and discuss feature film screenplays and films, as well as selected short films, and will screen selected short films in class to evaluate their narrative techniques.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor


Story, by Robert McKee
Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger
Writing Short Films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters by
Linda J. Cowgill

• Attend class: Due to the condensed nature of the class, attendance at each and every meeting is critical. One unexcused absence will lead to a reduction of your final grade. Three or more unexcused absences will lead to failure.
• Be prepared for class: Read all the assignments by the day due and come to class prepared to discuss them.
• One 6-8 page paper: This paper is an in-depth analysis of a selected independent film screenplay, and of its final produced film.
• One oral presentation: For this presentation, the student will lead class discussion for one class, on a selected film and its screenplay, the subject of the 6-8 page paper above.
• One 3-5 page screenplay, with multiple revisions.
• One 15-20 page screenplay, with multiple revisions.

Class attendance & participation 50%
Short paper and in-class presentation 15%
Short screenplay 10%
Longer screenplay 25%

Scientists have traced the migrations of humans out of Africa and across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, and beyond. Contained in the DNA of people around the world are clues to these patterns of migration. Even today, in the DNA of each one of our cells, is evidence of our place in this story of human origin and migration. Variation in the sequences of our DNA reveals these ancient patterns. Genetic variation is also the raw material for many other types of scientific research: e.g., studies of human disease, and the genetic structure of populations of rare and endangered species. This course is designed as an introduction to the concept of genetic variation and to the tools used by scientists to study this phenomenon. We will explore examples of these studies from research on human origins, human disease, and species conservation. The course will involve readings and classroom discussions, laboratory work, and fieldwork.
A writing seminar centering on the American experience of war in the 20th Century.