This class will focus on learning the basic drum techniques and rhythms of Senegal, West Africa. With an emphasis on Sabar and Saouruba, students will explore rhythms from Dakar, the capital of Senegal, to Casamance, a rural village in south Senegal. Students will learn to play on authentic drums and will accompany dancers, learning the give and take between drummer and dancer that is inherent to the musical culture of West African. The course will culminate with a live performance, including both drummers and dancers.
In this lab we will take a hands-on approach to learning important concepts discussed in the General Ecology class. You will be introduced to the methods that ecologists use to design, carry out and analyze research. The scheduled day is tentative and may change once students are enrolled.
This class provides credit for attendance at all lectures during the Fall semester for Speech Matters, for the trips to Montpelier, New York City, and Washington DC, and for creating a final project. Co-requisite: This course is only open to students enrolled in Speech Matters: Reframing the National Debate on Addiction
Thanks to the generous loan of a mold made by sculptor William Tucker, this short, workshop-based course will study the Pediment of the Parthenon and the place it holds in the history of art and culture. The course will culminate in the casting of the Head of the Horse of Selene, a famous part of the pediment. Not only will we learn about the technique of mold making and casting but we will design and prepare for installation of this piece in the new Snyder Center for the Visual Arts. One credit for the workshop and another credit possible if a research paper is completed as well. The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend of October 17 and 18 with some follow-up work at a time to be determined by the group. Prerequisite: None
This course traces the emergence and development of a consumer oriented culture in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. We will explore the relationship between consumer culture and democracy, between places of consumption and places of production (leisure and work), between consumer goods and activities and issues of social identity, particularly relating to gender, class and race. We will also pay attention to movements and organizations which have resisted or challenged aspects of a dominant consumer culture. By the end of the course, students should have an understanding of the history of consumer culture in its related economic, political, social and cultural dimensions and an ability to read critically the messages and structures of contemporary consumer society. The class is designed to allow students to pursue particular research interests throughout the semester.
Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries. *This course is held on the Brattleboro Union High School campus.
Course offered at BUHS for BUHS Students
Ensemble singing for more experienced choristers. Ability to read music and sight-sing. An exploration of repertoire from Renaissance to contemporary music for small choral ensemble. May be repeated for credit.Prerequisite: None; ability to read music helpful
The World Studies Colloquium seeks to introduce students both to the World Studies Program and to other international opportunities and resources at Marlboro. Through discussions with Marlboro staff, faculty, and other students, Colloquium students will learn the intellectual and experiential objectives of the World Studies Program, what services the Office of International Services offers, and how best they might venture into the world to pursue their academic interests.
This course will take a look at film through the lens of cinematography - the art and science of motion picture photography. Throughout the semester we will examine how lighting and camera techniques are used to shape film by focusing on the work of classic cinematographers such as Vittorio Storaro, Néstor Almendros, and Conrad Hall - as well as contemporary cinematographers like Ellen Kuras, Reed Morano, and Emmanuel Lubezki. In this course we will study how lens selection, camera movement, and lighting all effect the subtext of a film and empower filmmakers to create fresh and original stories. In-class exercises and take home assignments will help to demonstrate the role a cinematographer plays in filmmaking. However this class is not just for filmmakers but all lovers and consumers of cinema and will forever change the way you interpret film.
This course investigates short-form documentary filmmaking. With the help of NY Times Op Docs, Aeon, and Vimeo mini-docs (among many other platforms), mini-docs are now gaining a greater audience and therefore more support. Mini-Docs are becoming an increasingly popular way to artistically and effectively document and share stories that don’t necessarily fit into the traditional longer feature-length form. Throughout the semester this class will focus on the skills and techniques of documentary filmmaking specific to the mini-doc, as well as viewing and discussing critically acclaimed mini-docs. This workshop-based course will study the aspects of producing a mini-doc from concept to completion: how to pitch your project; write a treatment; acquiring release forms; how to research and best conduct an interview; how to match b-roll to your subject and how to shoot and light a formal interview; capture good audio; and basic editing skills.
This course investigates the paradox of the nation-state, the mode of political organization which currently dominates the world stage in terms of diplomacy, war, and migration. Although it allows nations a standard protocol for dealing with each other, and is based on a notion of the universal right to self-determination, at the same time its practice ensures that citizens of some nationalities have more rights than citizens of others.The nation-state is a historically contingent phenomenon that emerged dominant in the wake of World War I, which saw the breakup of most of the old empires. In 1919 sociologist Max Weber proposed a definition still broadly agreed-upon today: 1) the nation-state has a monopoly on legitimate violence within a fixed territory and 2) it determines citizenship, or protections and restrictions pertaining to nationals of that state, and applies it relative to its territory. This definition was formalized into the League of Nations charter (and its successor body the United Nations), which guaranteed all nations the right to self-determination.Yet many millions strain, by choice and by compulsion, against this framework of borders and citizenship, frustrating the lines in the sand, sea and earth, and confounding international attempts to curtail movement (i.e., stop illegal or problematic migrations).It is these examples which form the backbone of this course: we will examine case-studies of those instances where the nation-state’s ability to self-determine – in terms of borders, citizenship, territorial or political discontinuity, inability to maintain force necessary for “legitimacy” – is confounded.Selected cases we will consider:Stateless peoples (Kurds, Rohingya; Jews in diaspora, then as citizens after 1948 establishment of Israel)Yugoslavia & aftermathLegal migrant labor (UAE)Illegal migration (USA/ Mexico border; Europe; Australia)RefugeesThe United NationsThis introductory history research seminar consists of brief weekly assignments (written or oral), a final exam, and completion of a research paper, ca. 4,000 words, or 12-15 pp. It has no prerequisites and is suitable for students of history, anthropology, literature, social sciences, journalism and writing. It is designed to teach research skills as much as subject matter. If you wish to use this course to produce writing for your portfolio, please notify me as early in the term as possible so that we can schedule extra assignments.
Please use the same course description and time block as currently listed. Prerequisite: Plan application on file or by permission of instructors
How did a silver ring with an Arabic inscription end up in a ninth-century grave in Sweden? Why are Norse runes carved into a marble railing in the Hagia Sophia, the largest church in Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire? What networks allowed the movement of people, goods and ideas between these civilizations in this age of political fragmentation? We will tackle these questions and more in this history research seminar, which focuses on late Roman antiquity and the early medieval period, ca. 300-1000. Historians have traditionally described this period as a “dark age” that descended on Europe after the “fall of Rome.” Yet we will explore a large, interconnected world that exceeded even Rome’s farthest-flung boundaries. While we will look at how, and where, and for what reasons, the Roman Empire fell, equal weight will be given to the developments at the periphery of Europe, in lands where Rome’s footprint was light or nonexistent; ultimately we will interrogate the very notions of “Europe” and the “the west.” We will train our analysis on economic, cultural, geographical and demographic factors as we consider the barbarian kingdoms, Byzantium, Vikings, the rise of Islam, foundation of Slavic Rus’, and other topics of interest to students.The seminar consists of brief weekly assignments (written or oral), and completion of a research paper, ca. 5,000-6,000 words (20-25pp.). Production of the paper is done in steps: 1) source critique 2) outline 3) peer review 4) final paper. Students can pursue any area or topic germane to the course, and will develop their paper topics in consultation with me and in light of our class discussions. The course has no prerequisites. It is designed to teach research skills as much as subject matter. If you wish to use this course to produce writing for your portfolio, please notify me as early in the term as possible so that we can schedule extra assignments.
This course takes as its starting point the ethnomusicologist John Blacking's assertion that music is a form of human behavior with sonic results. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss and debate various topics that begin with the phrase "people use music to...." There will be several readings in the course, including Blacking, Hegel, Anthony Seeger, Johannes Fabian, and David Reck's Music of the Whole Earth. Students will be expected to complete these readings, keep a weekly participant's journal, and, towards the end of the semester, make a presentation on how a music of their choice functions as human behavior. The first meeting each week will consist of remarks concerning the ways in which people use music, and the second meeting will be almost completely run by individual students and motivated by their questions and concerns regarding class discussions, commentary, and the readings. No musical background is required or expected.
This course will explore the classical texts of sociological theory as well as more recent developments.Learning theory can require a lot of intellectual labor.The goal of this course is to make theory intelligible and applicable to our current world/personal experience/Plan/etc.We will accomplish this through writing and facilitation assignments in which students take turns presenting and contextualizing original texts by providing biographical details about the theorist/s, describing the historical, political, and/or social context in which they are writing, the theoretical traditions they are associated with, and the theoretical traditions that grow from their work.In the latter part of the course, we will practice doing theory through reading a contemporary ethnography about, oddly enough, nail salons.
This course is required for anybody who wishes to do a Plan in Sociology.PREREQUISITE: Introductory coursework in Sociology or Anthropology.
The certificate is designed for people who may wish to teach English abroad or to tutor language learners in the US, or who may undertake an internship abroad and who could apply the knowledge and skills in the communities they will be living and studying in. In order to earn the certificate, participants must take both the TESOL Certificate courses (Fall, 3 credits & Spring, 3 credits), complete a teaching internship (1 credit) and compile a portfolio. This course will introduce participants to the field of TESOL. They begin with a language learning experience from which they can extract principles of learning. They identify the main factors that affect second language acquisition, and the practices that facilitate and support language learning and cross cultural communication. They will build a foundation in English pronunciation, lexicon and grammar so that they understand the particular challenges English language learners face. They will learn to design lessons that use a communicative, interactive approach. They will implement these lessons in peer teaching sessions in class. Course Texts: 1. Snow, Don (2006) More Than a Native Speaker: An Introduction to Teaching English Abroad, Second Edition. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. $41.7 ISBN-10: 1931185328/ISBN-13: 978- 1931185325 2. Selected articles and chapters will be available on Courses/Moodle
How do we come to experience our daily lives as different kinds of "women” and "men”? How do we embody our gendered experiences informed by larger scale gendered historical and sociopolitical processes? What are the consequences of conforming to and/or challenging the status quo? How do these gendered processes exclude certain kinds of sexualities from and include others in the construction of the state and the nation? What implications do these inclusions and exclusions have for the nations and the citizens/individuals involved? These are some of the questions that this course will deal with in an attempt to engage you in a meaningful re-examination and denaturalization of culturally "appropriate” femininities and masculinities through various theoretical anthropological (and other disciplinary) perspectives and cross-cultural ethnographic research. We will untangle the relationship between biological characteristics of sexes and culturally "appropriate” roles for genders in different cultural contexts through examining ethnographic research. By situating gender in relation to sociohistorical circumstances in which gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality intersect and mold our daily interactions, we will seek to understand how what is often considered as "natural” is carefully and consistently culturally produced and reproduced. Prerequisite: None
Through this course we launch into an introduction to cultural anthropology, one of the four fields of American anthropology. In this course we will broadly familiarize ourselves with the history of the discipline in the U.S. and elsewhere, its methods, key figures, and key anthropological concepts, such as (gendered and raced) culture(s), social structure(s), forms of kinship (to name a few) across cultures and societies. The broad questions that we will explore throughout the course will revolve around locating and making sense of similarities despite the obvious differences in human experience cross-culturally, as well as differences within the obviously shared commonalities. We will do so through engaging multimedia resources, writing, reading, presentations, and discussions. Most importantly, you will be able to creatively apply the knowledge you will develop in the course to the course assignments by experimenting with different anthropological methods and approaches. Ultimately, our goal in this course is to develop the anthropological way of knowing (that of familiarization and denaturalization), as it can create transformative moments of critical thinking and compassionate understanding. Prerequisite: None
As with all health issues, addiction can be approached on the level of individuals and population. How addiction gets framed has tremendous impact on how health professionals prevent initiation of drug use and prevent sickness and death from drug use. This class considers the theoretical framework of addiction through the various policies being implemented to address drug addiction in Vermont and the United States. Dr. Nels Kloster, an addiction psychiatrist and medical director of Brattleboro’s methadone clinic, will provide the theory, practice and controversies surrounding medically-assisted treatments for drug addiction. Co-requisite: This course is only open to students in Speech Matters: Reframing the National Debate on Addiction
For many, the great challenge of our time is finding the right way to provide an adequate standard of living for all people while preserving the sustainable health of our natural environment. There is no easy way to deal with this challenge and while there may be many options, all involve important trade-offs. Microeconomics is the study of how a community can best manage the resources available to them. This course will introduce students to the economic perspectives on rational choice, cost/benefit analysis, central planning, and markets. The potential and weaknesses of these tools will be explored through application to a number of community challenges with a special emphasis on trade, the environment and human development. Prerequisite: None
Audiences are persuaded not just by what we say but how we say it. Using debating strategies, argumentative topics, and theater techniques, this practicum provides students with an opportunity to stand behind their words even when the targeted audience strongly disagrees. Co-requisite: This course is only open to students in Speech Matters: Reframing the National Debate on Addiction
Vermont is getting national attention for its commitment to ending opiate addiction in the state. Instead of relying purely on law enforcement to curb drug abuse, the Shumlin administration is promoting a model that includes treatment, prevention, and recovery. This class draws on political theory to analyze the discourse currently used by government actors and community activists to address the issue of addiction. We'll consider what sort of politics is being invoked by these various strategies and how public and private funding fits into the mix. Students will develop skills in argument, community research, and analyzing public debate for its political assumptions. Co-requisite: This course is only open to students enrolled in Speech Matters: Reframing the National Debate on Addiction
- Course Contributer: Thomas Arsenault
A course on the developing child, emphasizing current research and theories. Prerequisite: None
In this course, the makings of modern American Foreign Policy will be examined through the writings of those who helped to determine it. One of the main objectives of the class will be to study and critique the increasingly determining role of the United States in global affairs over the course of the past half century. But some of the more theoretical concerns of the course will focus on the question of agency: to what extent do individuals shape and change such national programs and/or to what extent does foreign policy remain structurally consistent over time and why. Prerequisite: This intermediate course is a natural follow up to International Relations Theory and/or Levels of Analysis, although neither class will be considered mandatory
A seminar introducing students to current issues and methods in economics research. The majority of the seminar will be based on students reviewing and leading discussions of literature relevant to their research interests. Seminar can be taken for additional credit. Prerequisite: Statistics; Intermediate Microeconomics or Intermediate Macroeconomics
The continent of Africa remains to most students a distant and exotic land, difficult to imagine and even harder to understand. In this course, we will attempt to become familiar with this part of the world, its peoples, its history, its politics and its current predicaments. By studying the many different countries and regions that make up this continent, the goal will be to better appreciate, on the one hand, that which makes African politics so unique, rich, and diverse, yet at the same time to recognize the overwhelming similarities of the struggles of people everywhere. Prerequisite: None
An analysis of the major approaches to abnormal psychology and the resulting theories of personality. Prerequisite: Child Development, Persistent Problems in Psychology
General Biology serves as an introduction to the scientific study of life and basic biological principles. We begin the semester with an examination of the molecular and cellular nature of life and then explore the genetic basis for life. This course serves as the foundation course for further work in life sciences. Prerequisite: Some chemistry recommended
Calculus III continues the development of the techniques of Calculus into multi-variable and vector-valued functions. As this is a tutorial, responsibility for the precise choice of topics and deciding how the material will be covered falls mostly on the students.
A laboratory course intended to give an introduction to experimental methods in physics. Topics include mechanics and thermodynamics. You will acquire familiarity with a variety of laboratory instruments, techniques and statistical tools. You will also learn how to record and present your observations and results. This class will help you to further develop experimental common sense and "physical intuition". Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in General Physics I or permission of the instructor
A follow-up to Statistics (NSC123) in which students acquire and hone the statistical skills needed for their work on Plan or simply pursue more advanced topics within the field. Course content is driven by the interests and requirements of those taking the class. Variable credit (1-4). May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Statistics (NSC123) or permission of the instructor
A wide range of math topics prerequisite for further study in mathematics and science and of interest in their own right. The course is divided into 10 units, listed on the course web page. One credit will be earned for each unit completed. Students select units depending on their interest and need. The course is especially designed for students who plan to study calculus or statistics, would like to prepare for the GRE exam, or just want to learn some math. Over the semester, 3-4 units will be offered in the timetabled sessions. Individual tutorial-style arrangements can be made with students who want to study the non-timetabled units, or who want to study units at their own pace. Prerequisite: None
A first class in computer programming, and as such a foundation class for further work in computer science. Much as a competency with English grammar is required for writing, an understanding of programming is required for nearly all intermediate and advanced work in computer science. A similar course is offered every fall, though the language chosen varies from year to year. Python is a modern, elegant, high level scripting language, popular at Google among other places. In addition to learning about "object oriented programming", loops, input/output and all that, expect to also learn a variety of computer skills and basics. Prerequisite: None
We will study the writing and presentation of mathematics. All skills needed for writing Plan-level math will be discussed, from the overall structure of a math paper down to the use of the typesetting package LaTeX. Much of the time will be spent working on writing proofs. Short papers, based on material in your other math classes, will be read and discussed as a group. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Passed Clear Writing Requirement; concurrent course or tutorial that includes substantial mathematical content
A one semester course covering differential and integral calculus and their applications. This course provides a general background for more advanced study in mathematics and science. Prerequisite: Topics in Algebra, Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus (NSC556) or equivalent
An introduction to number theory, from its inconspicuous beginnings on a Babylonian clay tablet almost four thousand years ago to its mature majesty in the 19th century as "the Queen of Mathematics" (in the words of Gauss), and beyond. Topics include the infinitude of primes, modulo arithmetic, the RSA cryptosystem, Pell's equation, Fermat's Last Theorem, and much more. Prerequisite: None
Science is a process, not a collection of facts. In this laboratory we will combine the study of chemistry with the process of science by exploring the production of biofuels. We will begin by developing some basic quantitative skills and familiarity with laboratory techniques. The activities for these early parts of the lab will be fairly structured. As you develop your ability to approach a problem scientifically the activities will be less structured and you will have more responsibility for designing and conducting your own experiments on the production and analysis of biofuels. Students will work on projects in groups but each student will keep their own laboratory notebook and write their own laboratory reports. Co-requisite: General Chemistry I
An introduction to the physics of electric and magnetic phenomena. Topics include electrostatic forces, electric and magnetic fields, induction, Maxwell's equations, and some DC circuits. Prerequisite: General Physics I and Calculus I and Calculus II or permission of the instructor
This laboratory will be an introduction to techniques commonly used by biochemists, and must be taken in conjunction with Biochemistry of the Cell. Your work in the laboratory will focus on a semester-long investigation of an enzyme. This project will allow you to perform your own biochemistry research project in which you will employ the principles of chemistry and biochemistry that we study in the classroom. The protein you will investigate is already well-characterized. That is, previous research has described in detail the properties of the enzyme. Your goal is to determine if the enzyme you isolate is the same as that described in the primary literature. To answer this question we will begin with basic laboratory procedures such as preparing reagents, chromatography and performing a protein assay. We will then explore techniques for studying the activity of enzymes, and methods for separating proteins, such as one- and two-dimensional electrophoresis. Finally we will employ immunochemical methods for the identification of proteins. Throughout this semester-long project you will also learn about the procedures for data acquisition and analysis that will allow you to draw meaningful conclusions from your results. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry I & II; Co-requisite: NSC13 Biochemistry of the Cell
Real Analysis is the study of the real number system and functions of a real variable. In this course we look at how the real numbers are built and put the results developed in the Calculus sequence on a more rigorous footing. More importantly, we'll probe the limits of what the tools of Calculus can do, meeting lots of exotic examples that test and stretch our intuition (and hence provide motivation for the aforementioned rigor). Prerequisite: Calculus II
An introductory physics class involving some laboratory work, suitable for students considering a Plan in physics, science students, or non-science students who want a physics foundation. Topics include vector algebra, kinematics, dynamics of single and many-particle systems, gravitation, energy, momentum, conservation laws, circular and rigid body motion. Prerequisite: Mathematical proficiency up through, but not necessarily including, calculus
This course will explain the basics of a branch of mathematics called Group Theory by examining Rubik's Cube and other similar puzzles. My hope is that the puzzles will motivate the ideas behind Group Theory. Although this is an introductory course and does not depend on any previous math (we will, for example, hardly use numbers at all), students should be comfortable with abstract thought. Prerequisite: Some facility with abstract concepts
The focus of this course is an exploration of biological principles and biological diversity in a laboratory setting. We will study such organisms as bacteria, yeast, molds, and mammalian cell cultures including cancer cells, plants, fish, and others. Skill in basic laboratory techniques in biology will be acquired throughout the semester. Recommended for prospective life science Plan students. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in General Biology I or permission of instructor
Chemistry has a rich history, including ancient theories on the nature of matter and recipes for converting lead into gold. Modern research and applications are equally exciting. For example, models of chemical bonds explain why carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases, and some of the colors we see in the Aurora Borealis. We will explore these topics as we learn about atomic structure and the periodic table, reaction stoichiometry, chemical bonds, molecular structure and other concepts central to modern chemistry. Many of these topics are related to current health and environmental issues. For example, discussions of pH and reduction-oxidation reactions include research on the natural chemistry of surface waters and the effects of acid rain on aquatic organisms. Co-requisite: General Chemistry I Laboratory
Ecology is the study of the interactions and interrelationships between organisms and their environment. In this course we will examine factors that contribute to the distribution and abundance of organisms and, hence, to the structure of biotic communities. In the lab portion we will take a hands-on approach to learning important concepts discussed in class. You will be introduced to the methods that ecologists use to design, carry out and analyze research. This course should be taken by all students with a life-science orientation in the environmental sciences. Prerequisite: College-level Biology
Biochemists used to debate the nature of proteins: their composition, structure and function. Now we know many extraordinary details of the shapes of proteins and how they function. For example, how they help our bodies acquire nutrients from food, use those nutrients for fuel and carry oxygen to our tissues. In particular, researchers have revealed the intricacies of how a protein’s structure is related to its function. In this course we will employ an evolutionary perspective as we discuss major topics such as amino acids, proteins and protein structure, bioenergetics, enzymes and enzyme function. We will also study major metabolic pathways and their key control points. Our goals are for you to develop a thorough understanding of how enzymes work and to be familiar with key metabolic pathways and how they are controlled. Prerequisite: General Chemistry I & II; Co-requisite: Laboratory in Biochemistry of the Cell
An exploration through close reading of the poetry of 19th century America, including Emerson, Thoreau, Poe and Crane but concentrating on the work of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Prerequisite: None
This is the first semester of a year-long seminar devoted to classic texts in the Western tradition. In particular, this course will raise questions about power, knowledge, and the human good through careful study of epics, tragedies, and philosophy. The Seminar in Religion, Literature, and Philosophy is recommended for students of any level intending to do Plan work in the humanities. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This four credit introductory course is for beginning students who wish to develop the basic skills in French language competency including listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course is designed to facilitate active learning about the francophone world through study of its language and cultures. Emphasis is on vocabulary building, basic grammar structures, cultural and historical knowledge.
There are a number of approaches to the study of language. This course introduces the uninitiated to linguistics as cognitive science. It gives a clear demonstration of the application of the scientific method in linguistic theory. The recurring theme of equivalence classes in linguistic computation ties together the presentation of materials from phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics to help students understand the place of linguistics in the broader context of the cognitive sciences by drawing on examples from vision, audition and even animal cognition. It integrates empirical issues of linguistic analysis with philosophical questions that arise in the study of language and treatment of the history of the field. This course is appropriate for students who are either curious about how language works or passionate about linguistic theory. Prerequisite: None
In our writing workshop for writing in the Speech Matters program, we will read the work of writers who treat the subject of addiction within a range of nonfiction genres--academic analysis, journalism, memoir, hybrid forms--and we will explore ways of placing our own writing within a generic context. Discussion of texts will alternate with work on our own writing, emphasizing workshops, feedback, revision and publication. Co-requisite: This course is only open to students in Speech Matters: Reframing the National Debate on Addiction
Intermediate French I is designed as a second-year French course for students have completed first-year French or its equivalent. Students will strengthen their language skills and cultural competency through vocabulary, grammar and readings. You will contribute to the classroom community by using French in and out of class, collaborating with classmates, and taking responsibility for timely completion of all assignments, quizzes, compositions, projects, and tests. No reduced credits will be offered for this class.
This is a Chinese language course for beginners. It aims to help students develop communicative competence in Chinese, focusing on the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will learn basic vocabulary and sentence structures for use in everyday situations through various forms of oral practice. Pinyin (the most widely used Chinese phonetic system) will be taught as a tool to learn the spoken language. Students will also learn Chinese characters in order to be able to communicate effectively in real Chinese situations. While linguistic aspects of the Chinese language are the primary focus, introduction to the social and cultural background of the language will also form an important part of the course. Prerequisite: None
An experiment in the relation of poetry to performance, as something other than text. We will recite and perform poems, critiquing performance. Emphasis will be on oral presentation, but we will also consider poems set to music, graphic presentations of poems, et cetera. Prerequisite: None
Delving into the darkest recesses of the human soul, the gothic novel of the late 18th century was a new sort of narrative that had at its center the potent intersection of sex, violence, and the law. Beginning with Horace Walpole (The Castle of Otranto, 1764) and the first writers in the "School of Terror" (Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis), we will consider how these authors used Gothic excesses - all types of villainous acts (forced marriages, imprisonment, the desecration of corpses) committed by all sorts of villainous characters (incestuous parents, monks in league with the devil, insane scientists) - to explore the worlds of sexual and social transgressions. We will then move to the19th century transformations of the genre (Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, Stevenson, Stoker), and close with the legacy of the Gothic in the 20th and 21st century (Faulkner, Borges, Allende, Marquez, Morrison). Whether set in a castle, a city, or a sleepy village house, gothic literature pushes at the boundaries of what is known and what can be known, asking whether we can separate pain from pleasure, reason from unreason, mind from spirit, self from other, justice from corruption and punishment from tyranny. Prerequisite: Must have passed the Clear Writing Requirement
This course is an introduction two Chinese schools of thought and practice: Confucianism and Daoism. We will read the foundational texts in each school. Discussion will focus on ideas of morality, social relations, self-cultivation, good government and nature. We will also consider the historical context of the primary texts as well as their influence on religious practice and art. Students will engage in a close analysis of key terms through quizzes, journaling and reflection papers. Prerequisite: None
"The mind is its own place, the visible world is another, and visual and verbal images sustain the dialogue between them." Wright Morris When we think about narratives, we most often think of prose words that tell a story. But what happens when writers, novelists, memoirists, and nonfiction writers integrate images into their narratives: photographs archived in history museums, personal photographs, or evocative graphics that merge with the written text? In this writing seminar, we will investigate the elusive dialogue between words and visual images, and consider how we "read" or interpret both prose and pictures. Beginning with Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a genre-bending autobiographical novel that explores the convergence of memory and imagination, we will explore Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (a child's wild vision and wild hurt in confronting the cataclysm of 9/11), David Small's graphic memoir Stitches, Wright Morris's memoir The Home Place (a photo-text that takes us back to a single day in Wright's boyhood home in Nebraska), and Lynd Ward's Vertigo (a wordless novel of the Great Depression in woodcut prints). We will consider the point at which images enter the texts and examine how they act to undercut, reinforce, and/or expand the written narrative. Through lots of practice in writing, critiquing, and rewriting, we will work toward two of our main goals, to help you find a writing process that works well for you and to allow you to experience the value of language as a tool for thinking deeply and clearly. Prerequisite: None
In this course we will read and write journalism, both as it has been traditionally defined--e.g., the essay as it appears in magazines like The New Yorker, or the expository report as practiced in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal--but also in the many variations on traditional journalism that have emerged since the 1960s: gonzo journalism, narrative nonfiction, radio essays, blogs, etc. Our goal will be to read (and listen to) as much interesting and provocative journalistic writing as possible, by writers like Jonathan Raban, Sarah Koenig, HunterThompson, Seymour Hersch, Annie Proulx, Jon Krakauer, Terry Tempest Williams, Jon Ronson, Susan Orlean and many, many more. Our goal, in the end, will not be so much to arrive at a narrow definition of journalism as to expand our own writing practice to include a range of styles, voices and angles of presentation. Expect to read a lot, to talk about all of it, and to write more. As this will be a writing seminar, we will write a lot, about the journalism we have read, and in journalistic pieces of our own. Discussion of the course texts will alternate with writing conferences, workshops, and work on grammar, style and structure. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Strives for mastery of complex grammatical structures and continues work on writing and reading skills. Frequent compositions, selected literary readings, class discussions, and debates on films and current events. This course meets three times a week plus an additional 50 minutes for conversation. It also requires workbook online. Prerequisite: At least two consecutive semesters of college Spanish
This is a language course for first-year students of Spanish and is designed to aid development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. It is part of a year-long course that covers basic grammar along with a variety of vocabulary and cultural topics, and it prepares students for the second-semester Spanish course to be offered in Spring 2014. In addition to written work and exercises, students are expected to complete home-work assignments in the Vistas website. The course meets three times a week for an hour and twenty minutes plus one hour extra for conversation. Prerequisite: None
Phenomenology constitutes one of the most significant developments in twentieth-century philosophy; it has deeply influenced philosophy in the West, and also informs concepts and methods across the humanities and social sciences. We will begin with an analysis of the methodologies and foundational concepts of Edmund Husserl's phenomenology, including the phenomenological reduction, the intentional structure of consciousness, the lifeworld, meaning, truth, knowledge, the proper relationship between philosophy and science, and the critique of representationalism. We will then move from Husserl's work to that of several of his successors who were inspired by it and developed their own approaches to phenomenology. In particular we will focus on phenomenological approaches to the body, art, race, hermeneutics, gender, technology, and relations with others. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
This course is an introduction to the fundamental teachings presented in the foundational texts of Islam and elaborated in Islamic ritual, arts and literature. Our aim, through studying the Qur'an and the life and teachings of the prophet Muhammad, is to grasp the internal logic of the Islamic worldview and the vocabulary used to articulate the vision of Islam. This work will provide the basis for examining the divergence within later (classical and modern) Muslim interpretations concerning questions of theology, human development and perfection, leadership and the organization of communities. Prerequisite: None
A continuation of elementary Arabic with equal emphasis on aural and oral skills, reading and writing. Selections from contemporary Arabic media are introduced and serve as a basis for reading and conversation. Prerequisite: Beginning Arabic or the equivalent
Introduces students to the phonology and script of classical/modern standard Arabic and covers the basic morphology and syntax of the written language. Emphasis on the development of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) at the earliest stages. Includes samples of modern (contemporary) and classical styles of writing introduced as well as audio-visual material from the contemporary Arabic media. Prerequisite: None
The ripples of Japanese culture have reached all sides of the Pacific. This seminar will examine selected topics in the origins and development of Japanese history and culture from the earliest records to the present. We will begin with a general overview of Japanese language, history and geography. We will then consider the fundamental themes of Japanese history while reading key works in Japanese literature, politics, religion and contemporary society. Throughout we will examine conflicting views of each issue so as to appreciate the complexity of Japanese culture. Each student will complete a number of short assignments in the first half of the term and an independent research project and linked presentation in the second half of the term. Knowledge of Japanese language is not necessary, but some prior exposure to Japanese culture will be helpful. Prerequisite: None
In Spanish, the word Teatreras refers to women who are considered drama queens. In many cultures, Latin women have been stereotyped as being overly dramatic, making grand gestures or exaggerating their problems. However, Teatreras also refers to women who make theater, who write plays and who have dared to discuss life issues on the stage and film. In this course, we will reclaim the second meaning by celebrating Latina theatre and filmmakers. We will situate their work within a post-colonial and intersectional framework addressing issues of racism, sexism, classism and heterosexism. We explore both the immigrant and resident experience while interrogating the social/political construction of citizenship. Through the mediums of theatre and film, we will study the varied multicultural voices of Latin@ lives in the United States. At the same time, we will foreground women theatre and film artists’ perspective on the historical and contemporary issues facing Latin@ communities. In the end, this course recognizes the important contribution these artists have made to the United States, abroad and in the fields of theatre and film.
Understanding the environmental challenges and opportunities of today’s world begins with careful inhabitation, or dwelling, within and upon specific places and texts. This course emphasizes local ecology and human communities and includes visits to nearby environmental sites. Interdisciplinarity has long been a hallmark of the field of environmental studies; reflecting that tradition, "Inhabitations" will draw on the experiences of Marlboro faculty in multiple academic areas. This course is an important building block for environmental studies students (e.g., prerequisite for Forest Ecology and Agroecology) and is also a Designated Writing course.
This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the complex historical and cultural landscape of varied latter 20th century "radical" movements, offshoots, breakaways and “movements within movements.” We ask: what cultural sequence gives rise to a movement or undoes it? And what are the historic parallels to movements in our own era? The class will blend historical perspective with oral history projects and community engagement, studying antecedent movements such as the Radical Faeries, Communes and The Diggers to gain context for contemporary parallels and outgrowths. The class will be co-taught by Obie award winning playwright and VPL artist-in-residence, Ain Gordon, and joined by visiting artists and community organizations, such as HB Lorenzo of Green Mountain Crossroads (and the Rural Queer Oral History Project), who will serve as collaborative partners and resources for student projects. The class is open to students across disciplines who have interests in using oral history and the construction of narratives in their Plan work. Prerequisite: None
If history is a study of the past to inform the future, how do we see the present? How might we define our own era? This course is an exploration of the contemporary world with an eye to what seems important now and what a future historian might see as characteristic of this time. We've chosen four categories within the overarching theme of visuality (and its representation) for our discussions: aeriality, surveillance, display and neo-orientalism. The material of our discussions will cross several media, writing (journalistic and academic), pictorial imagery (popular and fine art), film and all types of representation available online. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
- Course Contributer: Margaret Hunt
An introduction to human anatomy with emphasis on the musculoskeletal system and biomechanical principles of movement. Concepts will be explored through a combination of scientific study, experiential anatomy, and dance movement. Prerequisite: None
An examination of the methods used in problems encountered in trying to teach computers to "think." Topics covered will be among the following: representation of knowledge, learning, game theory, perception, neural networks, cellular automata, cognitive modeling, and natural language processing. Most people who work in AI program in Lisp, and so we will likely use it as well (learn it along the way), but that won't be the main focus of the course. This is an intermediate course in computer science and as such assumes previous programming experience. Prerequisite: Substantive programming experience
This course offers a practical examination of the theatrical process through the production and performance of a full-length play. Casting will occur as soon as the fall semester begins and rehearsals will take place both in the allotted class periods and in designated evening time slots. There are opportunities for acting, stage managing, participation as running crew for lights and sound, costumes and set building. Course credit will range from 1-3 according to the required duties and necessary time obligation. A firm commitment to the rehearsal process and the production is mandatory. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, audition and/or interview
As sculpture moved off the pedestal in the first half of the 20th century it found new relationships to its place in the world. The development of earth art, installation art, and site-specific sculpture have created a realm of activity for sculptors which has been varied and rich. At first a male dominated and environmentally risky field it has been immensely broadened by the actions of many women like Anna Mendieta, Mierle Ukeles and others whose works were more in tune with their environment. Through a series of projects and investigations of places and objects, including light and sound, mapping, indoor and outdoor installations, and modelmaking, students will create a series of works. Prerequisite: Sculpture I and at least one other art course or permission of instructor
Additional Fee: $80.00
With an emphasis on process, students will be encouraged to explore collage, mixed media, three dimensional relief and monoprinting as a way of generating opportunities for the unexpected; of subject matter, process and rethinking the definitions of working with and on paper. Prerequisite: None: but Drawing I or Studio Art would be helpful
Additional Fee: $75
Offered every fall, this class is devoted to student writing of original work in various literary genres. Most commonly, students are writing short stories or literary non-fiction, but occasionally someone may be working on a novel, week to week. Members of the class read each other's submissions extremely closely and offer critiques and suggestions during our weekly classes. The class may include exercises geared towards improving your attention to such things as character, plot, rising and falling action, voice, tone, angle of vision, and point of view. Students are expected to produce new work for class steadily and to participate in class discussions. Admission to the class is on the basis of manuscripts. May be repeated for credit. Variable credits, 2-5. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, based on manuscripts
This course is designed for advanced level students in the visual arts either on Plan or intending to soon be so, incorporating photography into their visual plan work. We will spend the vast majority of our meeting times critiquing student works in progress. It is not required that all the work being critiqued be solely photographic or even photographic at all. If a student is doing a portion of plan work, which is not at all photographic, but is intended to relate to their photographic work, they should feel comfortable bringing it in for critique. We will also discuss all issues concerning the preparation of the Plan Exhibition. Prerequisite: Photography Plan application on file or by permission of instructors
Additional Fee: $100
In this class students will be introduced to the language of sculpture through the use of traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques. Much of our time will be spent on sculpture assignments and independent work in the studios. We also will visit exhibitions, artists’ studios, view relevant films and create PowerPoint presentations to explore aspects of sculpture from the time of the cave-dwellers to today’s most innovative artists. Through rigorous discussion and debate, we will learn to evaluate our own place as makers of things, and above all, discover and develop our own sensibilities in a lively and safe environment.
Additional Fee: $90.00
Contact Improvisation (CI) is an exploration of the movement that is possible when two bodies are in physical contact, using each other's support to balance and communicating through weight and momentum. CI was invented in the United States in the early 1970s and it has since spread all around the world, where it is practiced both as a social dance and as a component of post-modern dance performance. In this class, we will learn basic skills and concepts to enter the practice of contact improvisation. We will work to develop comfort with our bodies, to trust one another, to take risks, to make choices in the moment, and to understand the forces of physics as they apply to the body in motion. We will listen to sensation, communicate through skin and muscles, develop reflexes for falling and flying and find access to our own strength and sensitivity. Prerequisite: None
Sound as Material II students will engage with sound art and listening in unique ways. Through lectures, reading and listening assignments students will explore sound beyond audition. This course will offer an in depth and personalized account of sound as a material in the arts in respect to sculpture and music. Students will create performances, installations and recorded works. There will be two texts for this course. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner and In the Blink of an Ear: Toward a Definition of Non-Cochlear Sound Art by Seth Kim-Cohen.
Sound as Material students will explore modes of sound creation and manipulation ranging from performance to installation and audio technologies. Modes of listening and audition will be addressed in respect to the history of sound art. Assignments will be driven by lectures, reading and listening. Our main text for the course will be Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner.
This course will focus on the creation of functional ceramics. Ceramics has been used within anthropology to tell the story of humanity thousands of years ago. Both in its aesthetic considerations and its practicality, ceramics can turn any meal into an event. Through making, failing, discussion and exploration students will work to find their own voice in creating objects for specific functions. Students will have demonstrations in both hand-built and wheel throwing techniques in order to develop proficiency in multiple modeling practices. Students will be asked to create an event to use the work made within the course. Prerequisite: Ceramics I or permission of the instructor
Additional Fee: $100
Following WWII, popular American movies from the war years were released in France all at once. French critics saw a huge change in style from the screwball comedies of the pre-war years. The stories, settings, characters and dialogue of these films from the early 1940’s had a dark, even cynical, tone. The French gave it a name: film noir. We'll watch and discuss a selection of noir classics--and some not so well known ones. We'll watch Hollywood noir films and more, including foreign and more contemporary homages to the style, with tough guys and femmes fatales in tales of infidelity, betrayal, lust, greed and ruthless ambition. We will also read and write about the genre and come to terms with the dark side of American cinema. Prerequisite: None
Additional Fee: $25
This class will explore the theory and practice of documentary filmmaking through an examination of cinema verite, direct cinema, reflexive documentary, compilation films, mock documentary and experimental/poetic documentary. We'll also explore various visual strategies in documentary filmmaking aimed at effectively communicating theme, tone and characterization. Through readings and discussions, we’ll study various aspects of social, ethical and philosophical issues surrounding non-fiction film and video--the blurring of boundaries between reality and fiction; questions of documentary truth; power relations between filmmaker and subject; effective interviewing; and the role of film in constructing and defining cultural history and memory. Students will be expected to complete a series of readings, screenings and documentary production assignments. The primary text for the course will be Michael Rabiger’s book, Directing the Documentary, which is available in the bookstore. Films that will be screened in part or in whole include Man With a Movie Camera; Salesman; Country Boys; Sherman’s March; Belfast, Maine; Tarnation; Harlan County, USA; Hoop Dreams; War Game; The Thin Blue Line; Super Size Me; Fast Cheap and Out of Control; Best in Show; and Waiting for Guffman. Prerequisite: None
Additional Fee: $75
This is a music making course for everyone - people who have never played an instrument or sung in public, and those with a lot of experience alike. We will explore the four aspects of music making – practice, interpretation, improvisation and composition – through a variety of means, including using our bodies for sound, constructing instruments and using found ones, looking at experimental graphic music scores and many others.
Throughout history, visual artists have used various mediums as a forum for social commentary. This course will be a combination of creating one’s own artwork and a survey of different modes of expression. We will consider issues within social/political art movements including the documentary traditions, personal narratives, theoretical discussions and various other stylistic approaches. This course will link the two dimensional visual arts, photography, painting and drawing with weekly sessions gathering as a whole and sessions where medium specific groups will meet. Collaborating on projects will be encouraged and we look forward to creative interpretation within artistic disciplines.
This course will be a collaborative seminar to offer intermediate and advanced students using playwriting and other forms of performed narrative as an aspect of their Plan the opportunity to workshop their ideas and scripts. The class will consist of writing exercises, workshops and staged readings. We will be joined by visiting playwrights in class and will attend productions off campus. Some flexibility in scheduling will be necessary. The final project will be ten-minute plays that will be submitted to a juried play festival competition to be held on campus in spring 2016. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and the class will be capped
In this class, students will explore both the art and the craft of making dances (in the modern dance tradition). Responding to specific assignments, students will create a number of dances throughout the semester, bringing a new draft to class each week. Class sessions will focus on viewing and discussing students' work, and on exploring tools for the creative process and ideas about composition. Attention will be given to learning how to give and receive choreographic feedback, and to editing and developing existing choreography. In addition, students will study the choreographic methods of other artists through viewing videos and reading texts. This course will require students to work independently and commit a substantial amount of time outside of class to the completion of choreographic studies. Students will present their final projects in an end of the semester showing. This course may be repeated for credit; assignments, readings, and special topics will differ each semester. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Popular music is an amorphous, loose term. We will undertake an examination of the term, charting a course through the diverse fields of music (and musical) industry, and exploring critical, cultural, esthetic and social notions that inform the term. We will look at the evolution of the now complex product enfolded within a "pop song", a diverse array of media, product, and cultural attribution, chart the shifting boundaries and flawed logic informing both pop music's making and its reception and explore the forces – market and otherwise – that shaped this music for over a century, spanning the spectrum from Stephen Foster writing songs for Minstrelsy shows to DJ Dangermouse remixing the Beatles and Jay Z illegaly. The work includes course papers, critical listening/viewing and reading in both primary and secondary sources.
This course plumbs the deep, symbiotic relationship between dance technique, sensation and performance. We will explore diverse movement modalities and move through vigorous choreography in order to uncover how dance functions as a tool for exploring ideas and raising questions. Central concepts will include availability, sequentiality and play.
While the first section of each class will be devoted to technique, the second section will engage students as collaborators and performers in an evolving, community-based performance project. This project, directed by Michael Bodel and assisted by Kristin Horrigan alongside other multi-disciplinary artists, brings together a range of local people of all ages in an expansive outdoor performance in the Green Mountain Orchards in Putney in Spring 2016. The project is site-specific in that the rural landscape serves as inspiration and stage for the work. By sourcing the history, character and current challenges facing the land and people, we will explore how dance can create agency and serve as an archive.
Class will become a testing ground for new choreography. Students in this course will present sections of the work we create at the end of the semester, and those who wish may continue to participate in the project: teaching choreography, working with community groups and performing in the spring performance.
A study of musical practice and theory from basic notation to species counterpoint. Work concentrates on intense practice of singing, rhythm and music reading. Prerequisite: None