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International study at College of the Atlantic reaches far beyond departures and arrivals. Journeys here often begin with conversations – in classes, around kitchen tables, on boats, and along trails. Not only are you likely to debate the role gender plays in agricultural reform during a food systems course, you’ll probably discuss the debate over dinner with your professor and your Guatemalan roommate. Perhaps next term you’ll plan an internship working with an international peasant movement in Brazil or with immigrant farmers in Maine. Instead of textbooks and educational tourism, you’ll get the real thing – immersed in the tangible, immediate context of your own questions.
At College of the Atlantic, we believe studying about the world is not enough. We must study within it. We refuse to approach the world merely through mirrors, windows, and television screens. Real answers often require relocating to the other side of the glass. Whether you are an adept conjurer of a more compassionate world or an inspired and experienced intellectual vagabond, we encourage you to take your education beyond yourself – remove that glass, refuse those frames, refit your understanding, and look back.
Regardless whether you desire to study primarily on campus or often abroad, an education at College of the Atlantic is international by default. And no matter which of the many opportunities you choose, we guarantee none will come with a remote control. Trust your questions; question your assumptions. Confront the world in all its struggle and splendor. Let yourself be changed. Learn what you have to give.
AD3021Cities: Past, Present and FutureThis intermediate course focuses on the architecture and physical form of cities through time. Rome has had a profound influence on the design of architecture and cities. In preparation for a 9-12 day field trip to this remarkable city, students will become familiar with its layers of history, the classic orders, the writings of Vitruvius, and the works of Michelangelo, among others. They will experience firsthand the city's famous monuments, ruins, buildings, piazzas, gardens, and neighborhoods, documenting their field observations in sketches, photographs and notes. Upon returning the focus will shift to an examination of the history of several major American and European cities, conditions, policies and technologies that shaped them, and various historic and current urban design movements. We will conclude with examples of recent and emerging international strategies to improve urban public space, transportation, provide local food, reduce emissions, and address impacts of climate change. Students will be evaluated on quality of their field notes and sketches, assignments, class discussions and presentations.
This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Advanced Food Policy. The third enrollment credit must be either Power and Governance or an Independent Study.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class Size Limit: 12. Lab fee: $800.00. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
ES4030Costa Rican Natural History and ConservationThis team-taught, intensive, field-based course examines the ecology and biotic diversity found at several sites within Costa Rica and the implications of this diversity on concepts of conservation biology. Whereas primary emphasis will be placed on Central American herpetofauna and avifauna, we will also discuss and examine issues of botanical, mammalian, etc. diversity and abundance, and the significance of the full array of species in more general studies of land-use and protective strategies. Students will meet during the winter term to discuss a range of articles and book-chapters dealing with aspects of conservation biology and Costa Rican natural history and culture during the winter term but the major emphasis of the course will be a two-week immersion in key habitats within Costa Rica itself during the March break. Non-travel days will consist of early to late-morning fieldwork, afternoon lectures/presentations followed by early evening to late night fieldwork. The course is based out of three field sites: lowland Caribbean slope rainforest at Tirimbina ecological reserve in north central Costa Rica, montane forest of the Arenal and Tenorio volcanic region, and Pacific slope dry forest of the Nicoya Peninsula. Evaluation will be based on detailed field journals, course participation, and a series of examinations testing student’s knowledge of species and concepts.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Course fee $1000.00 (covers food, transport and lodging in Costa Rica, students provide airfare to Costa Rica). Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES515Our Daily Bread: Following Grains Through The Food System
The aim of the course is to use wheat, oats and rye as a lens to explore how a wide range of factors including history, changing land use patterns, crop development, human nutrition, food processing, sensory evaluation, and socio-economic factors shape how grains are grown, harvested and ultimately transformed into our daily bread. This field-based course seeks to provide students with deep insights into the past and current production of grains in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. Extensive readings will complement the summer fieldwork at farms, mills, bakeries and research sites in Europe, and will provide students with the agronomic background necessary for a historical view of grain production and the possibility of localized grain within the current global economy. Students will lead discussions, interview farmers, write short synthetic essays, and undertake a research project designed together with the class. By the end of the course students should be able to: Evaluate the importance of wheat and other temperate grains to the feeding of human populations in past, present and future contexts; Review current and traditional methods of evaluation of food quality and grain processing (bread production in particular) and relate these to modern nutritional problems; Describe the growth cycle of wheat in general terms and relate the production cycle to current issues of sustainability including greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, energy requirements, and soil conservation; and Compare and contrast the socio-economic importance of wheat to Maine, Germany and the UK. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Formal application, Signature of the instructor, Introductory German highly desirable, any of the following courses: Theory and Practice of Organic Gardening, Chemistry of Cooking, The Contemporary Culture of Maine Organic Farmers, Agroecology. *ES*
ES526Neotropical Conservation Ecology
The neotropics have been at the center of conservation research and policy for more than half a century. In spite of an enormous amount of effort however many issues remain unresolved and debate continues on appropriate strategies for protecting both the vast array of plants and animals present in the region and the livelihood of the peoples dependent on a broad range of agriculture and industry. This class will examine a range of issues dealing with the botany and zoology of Central America with a primary focus on issues affecting conservation strategies and sustainable utilization of the rainforest. Work during the regular term will consist of extensive readings and discussions of the primary literature, with particular attention to the research efforts of pioneers such as Daniel Janzen, Alexander Skutch, etc. This will be followed by a mandatory ten day field trip to the Tirimbina Rainforest reserve in Costa Rica, where students will have the opportunity to conduct their own research on issues of biodiversity, behavior, and ecology. Level: Advanced. Permission of Instructor. Lab fee: $775. *ES* Note: Students who enroll in both Neotropical Conservation Ecology and Applied Amphibian Biology pay a single lab fee.
HS024Contemporary Culture and the Self
This course introduces concepts in anthropology, explores the relationship of the collective aspects of culture to the individual, and examines behavior as a consequence of biology or culture. Half the classes focus on a text (An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 5th ed. by Marvin Harris) which compares aspects of human culture at different times and in different parts of the world. The other classes focus on three novels: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, and The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. These novels are read as sources of cultural information about individuals from different societies. Two autobiographical papers examine students' own enculturation. Evaluation is based on participation in class, the two papers, a mid-term and a final exam. Offered every fall. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 20. *HS*
HS033Cultural Ecology of Population Control Practices
This is a research course focusing on methods of (and attitudes toward) controlling population growth rates in different cultures. Participants are expected to examine a set of hypotheses which relate several variables in the biological and cultural ecosystem, including population growth rates, environmental depletion, technological change and intraspecies violence. Each student then researches the literature on a different society and presents the findings to the group. Evaluation is based on class participation and a paper summarizing the project. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Contemporary Culture and the Self or signature of instructor. Offered every other year. *HS*
HS1013From Native Empires to Nation StatesThis course is a history of Latin America from Native American contact cultures through the contemporary period covering socio-political processes. An emphasis is placed on the fusion of pre-contact societies into a new socio-cultural formation in the colonial period, and then the shared yet divergent history of the region after the collapse of colonial rule. In the second half the class emphasizes the rise of the nation state in Latin America with particular emphasis on dictatorship and rebellions. The course uses traditional texts, novels, and film to explore this huge geographical and chronological expanse.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HY HS
HS1015Introduction to Global PoliticsThis is an introductory level course that will expose students to basic concepts and controversies in international politics and serve as background for more advanced work in the area of international studies. Through historical readings and current events discussions we will answer questions fundamental to understanding global politics today, such as: What are the different roles that nation-states and non-governmental organizations play in international politics? How important are various international institutions (the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund ) in shaping the global political landscape? What exactly is civil society? Inequity defines many political relationships between actors in the global system: between developed and developing countries; between the rich and poor within those countries; between autonomous political groups and the nation-states in which they reside. To more deeply understand these relationships, we will examine some of the processes that have led to inequities in the current world political economy, touching on such topics as: colonialism and national liberation movements of the 20th century, the debt crisis, and the formalization of the international trading system. We will consider the topics from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, including political ecology, international political economy, and economic geography. Evaluation will be based on participation in class discussions, several short and long papers written over the course of the term, and a final project and its presentation to the class.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1019Beginning Spanish IThis course is for students who have had no contact with Latin American culture, do not possess basic Spanish language structures and expressions, and have no Spanish vocabulary. The emphasis is on development of the basic skills required in any language - listening, speaking, writing, and reading comprehension. Objective: Students will be able to express themselves orally and through writing, using vocabulary and simple construction of Spanish in the indicative tense. This includes present tense study, vocabulary, numbers, proper nouns, salutations and presentations, present perfect tense, action verbs, the usage of "to be" and "is", future tense, vocabulary, and some usage of "for". Evaluation Criteria: two Compositions, two auditory tests, two writing tests covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Introductory. Offered every fall. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $20.
HS1020Beginning Spanish IIThis course is intended for students with a basic knowledge of grammar, using common vocabulary that is needed for every day situations. Objective: The students will be able to express themselves orally and through writing using subject-verb agreement, basic form in the indicative tense, and an introduction to the imperative moods. It includes a review of the present and future tenses, study of the imperfect tense, action verbs, direct object, proper nouns, the indicative tense, the use of the "to be" and "is" verbs, and an introduction to prepositions. Evaluation Criteria: two Compositions, two auditory tests, two writing tests covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Introductory. Offered every fall. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $20.
HS1024Debate WorkshopThis class will be conducted as a workshop with an emphasis on providing students with an opportunity to engage in various forms of public debate and argumentation. The majority of work related to the class will be spent participating in “hands on” debate and argument practice. Students will get the chance to take part in wide array of debate formats covering a broad spectrum of topics and themes. In many instances decisions about topics will be student driven and guided by events external to the class. Along with the instructor, students will work together to refine argument structure, strategic argument selection, research practices, presentation skills, and audience analysis. In addition, students will also examine various historical accounts of academic debate practices and the theoretical/social context that gave rise to them. Previous debate and/or public speaking experience is not required. Students of all academic interests and backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class, completion of process-based assignments, collaboration on team projects, and several individual reports that require outside research. At no point will the final evaluation of students be tied to any standard of what constitutes a "good" debater in a competitive sense. Students who feel that they are less proficient in the areas of argument and public communication should not be worried that this would somehow disadvantage them in terms of grading. While there is no set "lab", this class will require a good deal of time commitment outside of the traditional "classroom" environment. This includes research on the debate topics as well as actual performance time.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 10. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1026The Renaissance & the Reformation
HS1045Politics of Israel
HS1046Inroduction to Economics & the Economy
HS171Spanish Conversation and Applications
This course develops intermediate and advanced skills in verb use, idiom, and vocabulary. It emphasizes development of those language competencies that are most relevant to Mexican cultural settings that are commonly encountered, distinctive, and/or important. It also focuses on developing language competencies directly relevant to projects people are interested in pursuing in Spanish speaking environments, e.g. research on wall murals, coral reefs, or indigenous land rights. It is especially appropriate for students planning to participate in the Winter term courses in the Yucatan. This course presupposes competence in the simple tenses and a basic vocabulary. Class meets for two one-and- one-half hour sessions per week plus Wednesday conversation at dinner at the college. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 15.
HS2021Immersion Practica in Spanish and Yucatecan CultureThis course is intended to provide students with an immersion experience in the language and culture of Spanish speakers in the Yucatan Peninsula. The objectives are to increase their abilities to navigate the linguistic and cultural terrain of another society in sensitive, ethical, and effective ways. Class sessions, visiting lecturers, field trips, and readings will provide background on the history and anthropology of Yucatecan culture. Immersion experiences, living with a family, will provide one important source of experiential learning. A second will be provided by an independent project or activity developed for each student based on the student's interests. This independent project will include a practicum experience in some institutional setting that might be a class room (e. g. an art class at the local university), a bakery, an internet café, a church group, or some other place for social service or other work relevant to a student's interests. This practicum experience will involve weekly activities during the term and more intensive work during the last three weeks. Evaluation will be based on participation in weekly class discussions and on weekly reflective papers written in Spanish.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: TBA
HS2042Italian History, Language and CultureThis course will introduce students to the historical frameworks and cultural forms that characterize contemporary Italy and will provide a foundation in conversational Italian. While "Italy" as a place and even a brand (as in "made in Italy") has enormous imaginative and romantic allure around the globe, the complexity and diversity that characterize this country are not always acknowledged. Drawing on historical, literary, and anthropological sources, as well as media, art, and popular culture, students will develop knowledge and tools through which to approach their immersion experience in the spring with care and subtlety. Additionally, through weekly class meetings, outside work, and workshops on evenings and weekends, students will acquire a foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation from which to begin their immersion language studies in Italy. Throughout, students will be asked to reflect on and develop the experiential field-based learning projects that they will be undertaking in the spring and will craft a proposal and set of questions to guide their work. We will also discuss ethics and methods that inform experiential research. Evaluation will be based on participation and engagement, commitment to a project of common learning, and written and oral assessments.
Level: Introductory/ Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2045Contemporary Social Movements: BoliviaSocial struggles for human rights, indigenous community autonomy, ecological sustainability, equality, sovereignty and other concerns invoke values, draw on methods and appeal to allies from the larger international context and yet play out with their own very distinctive dynamics at community, regional and national levels. When social movements achieve political power that enables them to use the state in advancing their goals, these dynamics become even more complex. An especially rich and important case study of these complex dynamics is provided by the struggles leading up to the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, and the subsequent efforts to establish a pluri-national state in which rights of Nature ("Pacha Mama") and of indigenous communities are embedded in a vision of sustainability as "Vivir Bien" (living well as opposed to living "ever better" with more GDP).
The goals of this course are to introduce students to the history and current dynamics of Bolivia with the aim to: a.) develop understanding of development issues as applied to Bolivia’s current context; b.) develop abilities to use theories of social change to interpret and critically analyze cases like Bolivia, and c.) develop their skills in research to generate useful knowledge for activists and change agents. The class format will include readings, discussion, visiting lectures from other COA faculty, short analytical papers, and term long projects in which students will define and pursue research on a specific topic such as the struggles over issues related to water, food, climate change, coca production or indigenous culture. Students will also organize poster presentations as part of the October session of the Society for Human Ecology in which a session on the concept of Vivir Bien in Andean countries is being organized. Evaluation will be based on the extent to which student work in discussion and in these papers, presentations, and other activities provide evidence of achieving the three goals for the course. Readings will include shorter excerpts from texts in general theories of social change by Charles Tilly, Bill Moyer, Paulo Freire and others and extensive readings related to Bolivia’s geography, culture, history, economy and politics. Some summer reading will be assigned as preparation for the course.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Class limit: 18. Lab fee: $35. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2048Food, Power and Justice
HS2049Marvelous Terrible Place: Human Ecology of NewfoundlandWhere is the largest population of humpback whales in the world, the largest caribou herd in North America, the only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, and Paleozoic water bottled for consumption? The remote Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador presents a stunning landscape, an astoundingly rich ecological setting, and a tragic history of poverty amidst an incredible natural resource, the northern cod fishery, that was ultimately destroyed. The province has been alternately invaded or occupied by different groups of Native Americans along with Norseman, Basques, French, British, and the U.S. military, because of its strategic location and rich fishing and hunting grounds. One of the first and one of the last British colonies, this richest of fisheries produced a very class based society, composed of a wealthy few urban merchants and an highly exploited population of fishing families often living on the edge of survival. But within the past 50 years, Newfoundland society has been forced to evolve. The provincial government looks towards oil and mineral exploitation to turn around the economy, while ex-fishermen consider eco- and cultural tourism with growing ambivalence. This then is our setting, and background, for an intense examination of the human ecology of this province; the relationship between humans and their environment, sometimes successful, sometimes otherwise, the struggle between the tenuous grasp of civilization and this marvelous, terrible place. To do this we will discuss various readings, examine case studies and review the natural and human history of this unique province. Our learning will culminate with a two-week trip to Newfoundland to examine its issues firsthand. Evaluation will be based on class and field trip participation, responses to reading questions, a field journal, and a final project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor. Lab fee: $850. Class limit 15 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2051Agriculture and Biotechnology
HS2060Philosophies of Liberation
HS3014World Ethnography in FilmThis course is intended to give a view of how different peoples of the world live and what their homes, dress, customs, and work are like, the kinds of technologies employed in various environments and the population levels they support. The text is Ethnographic Film by Heider. The class views a sampling of anthropological films made over the last fifty years. Students are expected to view twenty films and write critiques of fifteen. Evaluation is based on participation and the fifteen reviews.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Contemporary Culture and the Self or equivalent. Offered every year. Class limit: 20. Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3019Mountain Poets of China and JapanThere was a long standing tradition in both China and Japan of wandering poets and mountain hermits who expressed their experiences in nature in poetic terms. In this class we take an overview of the major styles of poetry in both of these countries and sample some of the work of their major poets. After a brief introduction to the use of dictionaries and various language tools available in books and on the internet, students will be invited to try their hand at translating some of the Chinese poems and rendering them into good poems in english.
Level: Intermediate. Students will be expected to take the course on a Pass/Fail basis, with special arrangement made for those needing to take it for a grade. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3021Intermediate Spanish IThis course is for students who are competent in the use of basic Spanish structures, of the simple and compound of the indicative tenses, and some forms of the imperative tense. Objective: The students will be able to express themselves orally and through writing using a variety of vocabulary, the indicative and imperative moods, and some applications of the subjunctive mood. This includes a review of the present, preterite, future imperfect, preterite imperfect tenses, pronouns of object direct and indirect, imperative mood, expanded use of the "to be" and "is" verbs, the prepositions and simple conditional, the study and practice of the compound tenses of the indicative mood, present perfect, plus perfect, and future perfect. They will also study the subjunctive mood and verbs that express emotion. Evaluation Criteria: two compositions, two auditory tests, two writing tests covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Intermediate. Offered every fall. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $20
HS3022Intermediate Spanish IIThis course is for students who use the simple and compound structures of the indicative mood. Objective: The students will express themselves orally and through writing using the appropriate vocabulary and complex sentence structure in the indicative, subjunctive, and imperative moods, adverb clauses and more sophisticated idioms. Evaluation Criteria: two compositions, two auditory tests, two writing test covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 10.
HS3023International Wildlife Policy and Protected Areas"Save the whales"; "save the tiger"; "save the rainforest" - - increasingly wildlife and their habitats are the subject of international debate with many seeing wildlife as part of the common heritage of humankind. Wildlife does not recognize the political boundaries of national states and as a result purely national efforts to protect wildlife often fail when wildlife migrates beyond the jurisdiction of protection. This course focuses on two principle aspects of international wildlife conservation: 1) the framework of treaties and other international mechanisms set up to protect species; and 2) the system of protected areas established around the world to protect habitat. We begin with an examination of several seminal wildlife treaties such as the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, CITES, migratory bird treaties, and protocols to the Antarctica Treaty. Using case studies on some of the more notable wildlife campaigns, such as those involving whales and elephants, we seek to understand the tensions between national sovereignty and international conservation efforts. The Convention on Biological Diversity and its broad prescriptions for wildlife protection provide a central focus for our examination of future efforts. Following on one of the key provisions in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the second half of the course focuses on international and national efforts to create parks and other protected areas. In particular we evaluate efforts to create protected areas that serve the interests of wildlife and resident peoples. Students gain familiarity with UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve model and the IUCN's protected area classifications. We also examine in some depth the role that NGO's play in international conservation efforts. The relationship between conservation and sustainable development is a fundamental question throughout the course.
Level: Intermediate. Recommended courses: Use and Abuse of Public Lands, Global Politics and Sustainability, Global Environmental Politics.
Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3037Doing Human Ecology in Cross-cultural Contexts: FranceThis course is part of a program in French Language and Culture in Vichy, France. It will provide credit for the winter orientation process preparatory for the program, learning from homestay in Vichy, the other cultural experiences that are a part of the program and for the final two week project. This final project will be in the local community working with a bakery, a farm, an NGO, a government agency, a business or some other organization that fits with their interests and provides them with an opportunity for practical learning of French language and culture in an immersion context. The course is designed to employ group exercises and individual reflections on experiences to develop the student’s insight into French culture specifically and, just as importantly, into the process of learning a second language and entering into cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. Skills and insights from anthropology, history and conflict resolution will be cultivated. Evaluation will be based on the student’s ability to demonstrate skills and insights into cross-cultural collaboration and learning through short papers based on journal writing, the final project report, and the successful completion of homestay, community collaboration and other immersion activities. Prerequisite: at least one course in French language. Requirements: Co-enrollment in HS775 "Immersion Program in French Language and Culture" and permission of instructor.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 12. Program fee: TBD
HS3038The Cold War: The Later YearsThis course provides a broad historical overview of the early years of the “Cold War” period that shaped global politics generally and American foreign policy specifically. Beginning with the election of Richard Nixon's in 1968 and following up to today, we will focus on the diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia and how this relationship has impacted state actors, economic policies, cultural production, and conceptions of identity. While there will be a heavy focus on traditional state-level diplomatic history, students will also explore a broad array of methodological approaches. Class sessions will include a mix of traditional lecture formats, class discussion, and outside presentations. An evening lab is scheduled in order to screen a variety of cultural artifacts from the various periods we will cover. The primary goal is to give students an intensive 10-week crash course into key events, concepts, figures, etc.. that defined the later decades of Cold War diplomacy. At the same time there is also time allocated for students to explore their own independent research interests. Given the far-reaching force of Cold War politics into everyday life, individuals with widely varying academic interests will find the course informative and productive. Evaluation will be based on a mix of class participation, individual research assignments, and exams.While this class is designed to compliment the topics covered in The Cold War: Early Years, students are not required to have had this earlier class. Both courses are designed as "stand alone." All students, regardless of their backgrounds, previous coursework, or interests are welcome.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS3045The Ethnography of Work in ItalyThis course will include in depth preparation for conducting experiential, ethnographically informed explorations of cultures of work in the Veneto. Students will be instructed in key ethnographic methods within the context of fieldwork in Northern Italy: interviewing, participant observation, self-reflection and reflexivity, and methods of journaling and writing fieldnotes. These skills will be communicated via seminars and lectures in the field, as students prepare for individual immersion experiences in particular work contexts. During their immersion field experience, the instructors will meet with students at particular intervals to process the challenges and points of interest that have emerged, thus making the learning process an ongoing experience. Throughout, we will ask what an ethnographically informed perspective offers for the understanding of cross-cultural encounters, travel, and the notion of immersion. Students will be evaluated on class participation, the ongoing production of fieldnotes and journal material, and a final reflection on their fieldwork experiences.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Italian Language, History, and Culture and permission of the Instructors. Requires the simultaneous enrollment in A Human Ecology of the Veneto and The Poetics and Politics of Cross-Cultural Encounters. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $1580. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3047The Poetics and Politics of Cross-Cultural EncountersThis course will consist of an intensive two-week seminar through which students will collaboratively compile and analyze the material gleaned from their encounters in the Veneto. We will engage deeply with the question of how to present these experiences to the very communities that made them possible. Students will consider aspects of form, representation, ethics, politics, and responsibility, as they prepare a series of exhibitions, performances, and presentations to take place in Italy before their departure. A collaborative presentation to the COA community will also be prepared. We will address, in active conversation and hands on work as a group, themes such as: the relationship between individual and community, the encounter between self and other, comparison, and the very meaning of what a “cross-cultural” encounter entails. Students will be evaluated on class participation and their production of a final project in the context of group work.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Italian Language, History, and Culture and permission of the Instructors. Requires the simultaneous enrollment in A Human Ecology of the Veneto and The Ethnography of Work in Italy. Class Limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3052Numbers, Names, and Narratives: Doing H.E. in H.S.This is a course for students who want to use history, anthropology and social science research in their work on community organizing, social change efforts or public policy advocacy. Human ecological approaches to such problems and studies require using interdisciplinary methods to integrate different points of view and different theories in a more comprehensive understanding of a person, text, situation or problem. But how can we do that? What sorts of things are “methods”, “theories” and “disciplines” and how can they be integrated? How is theoretical research related to practical action? How should we deal with the ethical issues that come up in research? How do modern vs. post-modern or neo-liberal vs. neo-Marxist or hermeneutic vs. quantitative views of these things differ?
The aim of this course is to develop students’ abilities to articulate different ways of framing these questions and answering and to develop their abilities to apply those questions and answers in projects in human ecology – including in internships, residencies and senior projects. The class will examine a series of texts that provide case studies that address these problems at a practical as well as philosophical and methodological level. Work for the class will include a series of short papers and exercises that provide descriptions and critical analyses of texts read in class and provide applications of theories and methods to a project.
Texts used may include, for instance: ALBION’S SEED by David Hackett Fischer, THE EVALUATION OF CULTURAL ACTION by Howard Richards, THE ETHNOGRAPHIC METHOD by James Spradley, THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW by Wade Davis, THE TWO MILPAS OF CHAN KOM by Alicia Re Cruz, INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH: PROCESS AND THEORY by Allen F. Repko, and a series of other short articles and chapters.
NOTE: This course is especially recommended for sophomores and juniors interested in pursuing advance work in Human Studies. A more advanced tutorial is available which is designed for students who are currently doing an internship, residency or senior project – including those who are off campus and would like to take part through distance learning. (See “Tutorial in Numbers, Names and Narratives: Challenges Mixing Methods, Theories, Planning Processes and Ethics in Human Ecology Projects”)
Final evaluations will be based on class participation, (20%), short papers and homework exercises through the term (40%), and work on a final project (40%).
Level: Intermediate. Lab fee $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3055The Mayas of Yesterday and TodayThis is a course in the history and culture of the Yucatec Maya offered as part of the College's Yucatan Program in Mexico. It will cover key features of the Pre-Hispanic, Colonial and Modern eras. Readings will include classic texts by and about them as well as contemporary studies in archaeology and anthropology. Themes will include social structure, religion, politics, agricultural practices, language and family life. Homework will include various short writing assignments and oral project reports. Field trips in and around Merida will be included both to visit archaeological sites of special interest and also to visit contemporary communities of Maya. Each student will do a major final project which will include research in texts and fieldwork which culminate in an extended study on site in a Maya village. This course will be taught entirely in Spanish.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: signature of Yucatan program director and co-enrollment in HS6010 Spanish Language and HS2021 Immersion Practica. Lab fee: TBA. Class limit: 12
HS4012Contemporary Women's NovelsThis course selects from among the most interesting, diverse and well-written of contemporary women's fiction to focus on questions of women's writing (and how/whether it can be treated as a literary and formal category), gender identity and women's issues, and the tension between sameness and difference among women's experiences, and narrations of women's experience, around the world. The course begins by examining two relatively unknown yet rather extraordinary novels from earlier in the twentieth century: Alexandra Kollantai's Love of Worker Bees (1927) and Sawako Ariyoshi's The Doctor's Wife (1967). After these, we read from truly contemporary authors and quite varied authors published within the last twenty years, like Buchi Emecheta, Gloria Naylor, Ursula Hegi, Nawal El Saadawi, Sue Grafton, Graciela Limon, Tsitsi Dargarembga, Barara Yoshimoto, Dorothy Allison, Rose Tremain, Julia Alvarez, Leslie Feinberg, April Sinclair, and Achy Obejas. Students each choose an additional author to study and read a novel outside of class. An extensive list of authors is included in the syllabus. Evaluation be based on class participation, either two short papers or one long paper on works discussed in class, a presentation to the class of the outside novel, and a final evaluation essay.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: a previous literature course and signature of the instructor. Offered every other year. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4018Histories of Power: States & Subalterns in Latin AmericaThis colloquium-style course will provide an intensive examination of the modern political history of Latin America with a particular emphasis on the specific mechanisms of power used by state actors, local communities, and individuals. The course seeks to provide students with appropriate theoretical tools as well as concrete historical cases from which to examine power dynamics in contemporary Mexico, Central America, and the Andes. The course also highlights a concrete set of cases through which students can examine the history of political upheaval, revolution, and contestation that has defined the region since independence. The chronological scope of the class will be from the early nineteenth century up to the late twentieth century. Students will be asked to take theoretical works about state formation, nationalism and power and examine how such questions could be turned into research projects. Students will write a series of analytical essays on the course readings to problematize each author's treatment of power and the state. A final project on one author's theoretical and empirical contribution to the field will serve as a capstone. The course will focus on discussion of the texts, and students will be evaluated on their discussion skills, reading notes, and written work. This course is intended for students with prior coursework on Latin American history (e.g. From Native Empires to Nation States, Articulated Identities, and Seminar in Guatemalan History and Culture), and courses in social theory would also be helpful.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4027Seminar in Guatemalan History and CultureGuatemala is known as a country of dramatic contrasts and this course, which will serve as a pre-requisite for the winter term Guatemala program, seeks to familiarize students with the contextual knowledge they will need to work in this complex society. The course is designed around the question of what you need to know before undertaking research or advocacy in an international setting such as Guatemala. Readings, exercises, and discussion will provide a rigorous interdisciplinary introduction to the historical and ethnographic scholarship on Guatemala with a particular emphasis on training students to recognize and master relevant contextual knowledge and specific fieldwork techniques. Students will learn about the history of Guatemala from the conquest to the present as well as learning to examine the dominant historiographies which have shaped scholars' accounts of that history. Similarly, the class will provide an in-depth insight into Guatemalan society through a series of classic ethnographic works even as we critically examine ethnographic presumptions and practices. All students will learn how to evaluate and use maps, field notes, archival resources, and other sources in their own research. Students will be expected to read scholarly work in Spanish where possible. A final research proposal will be a primary product of the course, and it will be the basis of eight-week independent student work in Guatemala. Participation by multiple faculty in helping students develop the project proposals will be a key pedagogical component. All faculty involved will help evaluate the proposals. Evaluation will also be based on discussion, collaborative work on exercises, and a presentation of the final research proposal.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: intended for participants in the College's Guatemala Program. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS4028Cross-Cultural American Women's NovelsThis is an intermediate/advanced course in which students will explore in depth the connections between and among modern and cross-cultural women's novels, primarily those written in the now very multi-cultural United States. We will strive to make connections between texts so as to better understand the nature of and any patterns or themes that shape women's and cross-cultural fictional narration. Historical perspective, cultural differences, and gender roles will all be taken into consideration as we analyze relatively recent women's fiction by such authors such as Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gloria Naylor, Linda Hogan, Julie Shikeguni, Jamaica Kincaid, Nora Okja Keller, Cristina Garcia, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Sigrid Nunez. Participants will read carefully, prepare and ask questions of each other, write frequent response papers, and carry out a sustained independent project to be presented to the group. The outside project will focus on one or more additional texts that may be fictional, theoretical, cultural, or historic. The group presentation will put outside texts into broad cultural and historical perspectives and/or discuss them in terms of trends in women's literature, immigrant literature, women's literature of the United States, multicultural narratives, or some other course theme. Selection of the outside text will give participants the opportunity to fill in perceived gaps in their reading or explore a particular narrative or cultural form in depth. The reading load for this course is relatively heavy. Evaluation will focus on preparation, participation, insight, critical thinking, response papers, and the outside project - both its oral presentation and development in an appropriate form (visual, narrative, analytic, curricular, etc.).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: a previous literature course and permission of the instructor; Contemporary Women's Novels experience recommended. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4029Water Worlds: Culture and FluidityThis advanced/ intermediate socio-cultural theory course examines human ecological relationships in a variety of watery spaces. In the humanities and social sciences, oceans, seas, rivers, and watersheds have recently emerged as particularly productive units of socio-cultural analysis. In contrast to the boundedness that can pervade area studies, these "water worlds" convey both the fluidity of cultural connections and the richness and detail of deep historical and ethnographic research. Moreover, water worlds help us consider people in their engagements with ecosystems and geographies. This course centers on a variety of watery regions, including the Mediterranean, the Pacific, river life in the Amazon, The Caribbean, the Black Sea, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and human/ microbial relationships under the ocean. Topics addressed will include: the constructing of regions, critical approaches to geography, alternatives to globalization theories, and postcolonial theory. Intended for students who want to hone their chops in social-cultural analysis and/or those interested in the topic itself. All enrolled students MUST be prepared to read and discuss dense, complex material in cultural studies and social theory and should have background in learning to think and write analytically. Students will be evaluated on participation in class discussion and on outside written assignments.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Lab fee: none. Class limit: 15 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4031Power and GovernanceThis seminar will explore formations and effects of governance and institutionalized power in the Modern and contemporary worlds. We will consider some of the explicit ways in which power over self and other is enacted (through states, institutions, bureaucracies, law, policing and regulatory practices, and transnational governance bodies). Yet we will also ask how power itself is instituted implicitly in everyday routines and practices, in the way we carry our bodies, live our lives, and undertake our work. We will begin our inquiry with the assumption that power and governance are crucial elements of human social life, productive of social and cultural forms, and that examining how they operate is an important task for human ecologists. What is the relationship between power, social structures, and individual personhood? When and how might one stand outside or contest existing formations of power (if at all)? When does power become violent, or is it inherently so? Who has access to the tools of governance, and for what purposes? This advanced-intermediate class in socio-cultural and political theory will grant students a basic fluency in an array of concepts that are crucial in contemporary social scientific scholarship. Students will also read ethnographic texts to consider how theory is both applied and built in reference to particular case studies. Finally, students will learn to enlist theory to conduct their own analysis of contemporary situations. Students will be expected to take on an active role in defining questions for conversation and in facilitating discussion among their peers. Evaluation will be based on the quality of participation in discussion (50 percent) and on written assignments (50 percent).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Writing requirement must be fulfilled, as well as a reading intensive class in History, Art, or Human Studies. If you feel you can take the class but the above are not fulfilled, speak to the instructor. Permission of the instructor required. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4032The Arab Awakening and Emerging Issues in the Middle EastThis is a reading course tied to participation in the annual foreign affairs conference in Camden (Feb 22-24). Over the past several years, College of the Atlantic has developed a relationship with the conference that enables our students to engage the various events over the full three days. Every year highlights a particular theme, with a new set of focused panel discussions, national and international speakers, and readings. The 2013 Camden Conference will focus on the current status and future prospects of the Arab Awakening across the Middle East and its likely impacts upon U.S. policies and U.S. roles in the region. Topics will include: Political Developments and Public Order in Arab nations directly affected by the current ferment, Rise of Islamic Factions in Governing Roles as a result of recent elections, Effects among Palestinians and Impacts upon the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Regional Leverages and Rivalries, Prospects for Political Change in Iran and the state of U.S.-Iranian Relations especially in relation to tensions arising from the Iranian Nuclear Program, and Policies the United States should adopt in response to the Arab Awakening. The course will be a reading intensive and discussion based seminar that will include works from both the conference reading list as well as supplemental works that focus especially on Egypt, Syria and Iran. The goals of the class are: 1.) to prepare students to attend and play an active role in the kinds of policy analysis, discussions and debates typified by this conference (attendance is a requirement of the class) and 2.) to develop skills for doing individual and group research projects in comparative government and international relations. Evaluation will be based on class and conference participation, short written assignments, and written and oral presentations of group research on one of the three countries of focus. Students interested in the Middle East, international relations, global politics, diplomacy, US foreign policy, nonviolent social change movements, civil war and military strategy are especially encouraged to enroll. Students who have previously taken a Camden Conference course can also receive credit for this course and are encouraged to consider enrolling.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: $100 (includes conference registration and lodging). Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS433Conflict and Peace
How does conflict arise and how is it best dealt with? What is peace and how is it best arrived at or practiced? This course combines a study of major theoretical perspectives with lab work practicing skills and disciplines associated with different traditions of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacemaking. Readings will include Roger Fisher, William Ury, Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Walter Wink, Gene Sharp, Dorothy Day, Elise Boulding, Gray Cox and others. Lab work will involve role plays, case studies, workshops with visitors, and field work. The course will also involve one, mandatory, weekend long workshop. Level: Intermediate. Offered every other year. *HS*
HS5016Corn and CoffeeThis course explores the rich history of Guatemala through the lens of two vital products, corn and coffee. The crops provide insight into the global and local dimensions of both historical and contemporary reality there. The course will cover the history of Guatemala from pre-contact native society through the myriad changes wrought by colonialism, decolonization, the rise of the modern nation state, and the transformations associated with the rise of coffee as a major export crop. Corn and coffee provide a convenient vantage point from which to examine the social, economic, and cultural dynamics of native society on the one hand and the globally- connected production of coffee on the other. The course moves from a broad macro perspective on each crop to an intensive exploration of how both are produced in Guatemala. In this way, class participants will be able to look at how global historical trends in consumption have played themselves out in local communities. The class will simultaneously be able to look at the processes at work in pueblos throughout Guatemala that root the corn economy into rich cultural and social dynamics that are at the core of communal life. Using these two crops as a starting point, the class will allow students to develop a holistic and synthetic understanding how Guatemalans live their everyday lives embedded in intensely local realities even as they experience much larger national and international processes. The course emphasizes attention to the broad global dimensions of corn and coffee's production as well as the fine-grained study of Guatemala's socio-cultural life in historical and anthropological perspective. Through discussions of the books, this seminar-style course seeks to provide students with deep insights into the history of Guatemala while maintaining a sense of the global and regional context. Intensive readings will provide students with a snapshot of trends in both history and ethnography while broader synthetic analyses of both corn and coffee will embody more popular approaches to the topic. Students will lead discussions of the readings, write short synthetic essays, and undertake a research project for the class.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Signature of the instructor, any of the following courses: Native Empires to Nation States; Articulated Identities; American Worlds. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS5017Advanced Spanish ITBA
HS5020Advanced International Environmental Law SeminarThis course is designed to provide an overview of the use of international law in solving transnational environmental problems and shaping international behavior. We examine, as background, the nature and limitations of international law as a force for change. The course will then explore customary law, the relationship between soft and hard law, enforcement of international law, implementation mechanisms, and the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements. Special attention is given to existing international environmental law frameworks addressing climate change, Arctic and Antarctic development, ozone depletion, biological diversity, forest loss, export of toxic chemicals, and the host of issues raised by the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development and subsequent environmental fora. Students will also consider the interface between international environmental law and other important international forces such as the Bretton Woods institutions, human rights frameworks, and international development entities. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their classroom comments and several analytical problem sets given during the term. Students will also be asked to complete a major research project examining the effectiveness of a treaty or a proposed international environmental legal arrangement.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Environmental Law and Policy, Global Environmental Politics, or Signature of Instructor. Class limit: 10. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5026Advanced Seminar in Ecological EconomicsThis seminar explores selected themes in ecological economics, which is both the economics of sustainability as well as a paradigmatic approach distinct from the mainstream neoclassical approach to the study of economic activity. We will use the first several weeks of the term to define and outline ecological economics. We will use the remainder of the term to explore topics of student interest, focusing on three to five major themes; possible themes include methodological issues (post-normal science, transdisciplinarity), biophysical constraints to economic growth (entropy, technological pessimism, capital substitution, critical natural capital, resource peaks), sociocultural impacts of economic growth (consumption, happiness studies), energy and resource flow analysis (entropy), system dynamics (steady state economy, resiliency, degrowth), measurement issues (growth versus development, ecological footprint, Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare), institutional arrangements (adaptations of ideas from Douglass North), trade and development (embodied trade, pollution havens), community sustainability, philosophical issues (Buddhist economics, homo economicus), historical issues of sustainability (Malthusian perspectives, Jevon's Paradox). Evaluation will be via an exam at the end of the introductory phase, article précis, and a final poster presentation.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: two terms of intermediate neoclassical economics or permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5032Advanced Food PolicyThis course will encompass contemporary and historical strategies for addressing hunger, food insecurity and control over food system decision-making at an advanced level. It will help to prepare students to participate in the 2014 Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome by exploring in depth the topics and issues that will be on the agenda this year: food waste and the role of fisheries and aquaculture in food security. Students also will be expected to track communications, monitoring, multi-year program of work, principles for responsible agricultural investment or another of the CFS process workstreams, and to attend related sessions and side-events at the CFS.
The CFS is the premier place where various actors from civil society, business, and governmental and intergovernmental agencies come together to discuss practices and policies that affect access to food and water, diets and livelihoods of millions of people. Students will gain a deeper understanding of this contested space and its context within historical and contemporary disputes over food system decision-making. While the course will be oriented to this year's CFS, students may enroll even if they do not plan to attend the CFS in Rome to learn more about food policy and decision-making.
Students will be evaluated based on regular essays through the term, contributions to class discussion and exercises, and participation either in the CFS OR close reading and reporting on related ethnographies or supplemental reading. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Cities: Past, Present & Future for students who plan to travel to Rome. Enrollment in Power & Governance is STRONGLY ADVISED for students who plan to attend the CFS; students not planning to travel to Rome should enroll in an Independent Study as their third credit.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or higher at pre-registration AND at least one course dealing with food policy (e.g., Food Power & Justice; Hunger, Food Security & Food Sovereignty; Fixing Food Systems; Global Politics of Food - Camden Conference Course) OR previous attendance at the CFS. Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $500 if attending the CFS. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5036Russia and International Security
HS601Gender in Global Perspective
This course will explore the construction and reproduction of gender inequality in a global perspective. We will study the social position and relations of women and men (political, economic, cultural and familial) in comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Using the United States and various non-western case studies, the course will seek to explore the topic broadly. In so doing, students will learn about the diversity of women's and men's experiences across class, racial-ethnic groups, sexualities, cultures, and regions. This class will also provide students with an overview of the different theoretical perspectives that are sometimes used to explain and understand women's and men's experiences. This class will be taught via a combination of lecture and discussion. Students will be evaluated on class participation, several short papers, and a final project. Level: Intermediate. Lab Fee: $10. Class limit 15.
HS6012Learning a Language on Your OwnThe goal of this course to help each student design and implement an effective learning program for the study of a language of her choice at whatever level of learning she is currently at. A very wide variety of general strategies, resources and practical advice for independent language learning are reviewed in weekly class sessions along with progress and reflection reports from each student that can help guide and motivate independent work. The core common text for this work will be Betty Lou Leaver, Madeline Ehrman and Boris Shekhtman’s "Achieving Success in Second Language Acquisition". The primary focus of the class is on the development and implementation of each student’s individually designed plan for learning a language of their choice. Materials for this will be identified by each student as part of their work on their chosen language. Progress in these plans are discussed in one on one weekly meetings with the teacher. Plans may include the use of software, peer tutors, Skype, videos, standard texts, flash cards, specialized technical material, music, visual art, field trips, and a wide variety of other materials as appropriate. Evaluation will be based on the clarity, coherence and effectiveness of the student’s developed plan and the discipline with which they actually pursue it and revise it appropriately as the term progresses. Students will be asked to meet with the instructor prior to the start of the term to discuss their motivation, aims, possible resources and possible plans for language learning after the course is over.
Level: Variable. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $35.
HS6013Immersion Program in French Language, Art and CultureThis course is offered through collaboration with CAVILAM as part of the COA program in Vichy, France. Students take 20 hours a week of language classes and workshops taught by immersion methods and advanced audio-visual techniques. Students live with host families in homestays and take part in a variety of cultural activities. They are carefully tested and placed at levels appropriate to their ability and are expected to advance in all four language skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - as gauged by the European Erasmus scale of competency.
Level: Beginning to advanced (depending on prior language level). Pre-requisite: at least one previous French course and permission of instructor; this course is intended to complement a term of COA instruction in Vichy, France. Class limit: 12. Program fee: $1500.
HS714Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy
This course will focus on the cases of Iran, Nigeria, China and India and explore the common and divergent factors that shape political and social change in these countries. The ultimate question - to be tackled if not answered - is whether there is a common path that all nations pursue as their economy grows and society modernizes or whether, in fact, cultural, contextual and circumstantial differences lead to many possible outcomes, some of which will not at all resemble the Western model of a democratic state. In pursuing these questions, students will consider the persistent effects of colonialism and neocolonialism, the importance of culture and religion, the results of mass education and the spread of advanced technology. Students will also consider the ways in which popular demands are expressed -and heard - in the four very different political systems and the extent to which women and minorities are able to fully participate in the political process. This class will be taught via a combination of lecture and discussions. Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation in discussion, two short papers, and a final exam. Students will read two texts and a range of articles updating the political events in the four countries. They will also read commentaries challenging the perspective presented in the texts chosen. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15.
HS748The Road To Copenhagen
In December 2009, representatives of the world?s governments, as well as business, labor, religious, environmental, and youth leaders will convene in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The event is significant, as government negotiators will likely be hammering out the final wording of an agreement on national and international actions to address the most serious environmental threat of our time: climate change. In this seminar-style course, students will prepare themselves to be part of this historic gathering. Using the actual negotiating texts, students will become familiar with the most important issues under negotiation. Each student, alone or in pairs, will also be responsible for becoming the class expert(s) on at least one of the issues ? understanding the negotiating history, the range of political positions being expressed in the negotiations, and the technical specifics of the various proposals being considered. Students will share their expertise throughout the term with the entire class through one or more formal presentations. Some attention will also be given throughout the term to the contributions of various non-governmental constituencies ? in particular, business, environmental NGOs, and youth ? to the global politics of climate change, examining how, and how effectively, they engage in the process to enable a meaningful outcome to the governmental negotiations that will culminate at the summit in Copenhagen. Students will be evaluated based on participation in class discussions, their formal in-class presentations, as well as contributions to a collective public blog that will document their experiences at the meeting in Copenhagen. Course level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: Signature of instructor. Lab fee: $10.
HS750Seminar in Yucatec History and Culture
Yucatan is the region of Mexico with a large Yucatec Maya population and a complex history shaped by conquest, colonialism, separatism, and revolutionary upheaval. This course, which will serve as a pre-requisite for the winter term Yucatan program, seeks to familiarize students with the contextual knowledge they will need to work in rural communities of the Peninsula?s Zona Maya, or Maya zone. The course is designed around the question of what you need to know before undertaking research or advocacy in an international setting such as Yucatan as well as preparing students to work in other people?s communities. Readings, exercises, and discussion will provide a rigorous interdisciplinary introduction to the historical and ethnographic scholarship on Yucatan with a particular emphasis on helping students to recognize and master relevant contextual knowledge and specific fieldwork techniques. Students will learn about the history of the region from the conquest to the present as well as learning to examine the dominant historiographies which have shaped scholars? accounts of that history. Similarly, the class will provide an in-depth insight into Yucatec society through a series of classic ethnographic works even as we critically examine ethnographic presumptions and practices. A final research proposal will be a primary product of the course, and it will be the basis of eight-week independent student work in Yucatan. Students will also be evaluated on participation in discussion, discussion leadership, and short essays. Course is limited to students accepted to the Yucatan program. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. *HS* *HY*
HS754Tutorial: Readings in European History, 1350-1650
This tutorial will focus on the history of Europe in the early modern era through a series key readings. The tutorial will explore the intellectual, religious and political processes of change that characterized the period from rough 1350 to 1650. We will touch on themes such as renaissance humanism, the protestant challenge to church orthodoxy, the rise of the absolutist state, and the emergence of new political forms. The tutorial will use secondary and primary texts as examples from different parts of Europe, and it involves a weekly seminar focused on readings selected by the professor and students. Students will also undertake a term-long exploration of a historical theme of their own which they will present at the end of term. Students will be evaluated on a series of short essays, the quality of their contribution to weekly discussions, and their final project. This class is appropriate for students with some background in the history of Europe or other relevant academic background. Permission of instructor required. Intermediate.
HS756Post Colonial African Cinema
Africa was the last continent to develop a culture of filmmaking controlled by its indigenous peoples; 1966 saw the first African film to be produced independent of Colonial control (although still largely in an oppressor's language, in this case French). The fact that African film was nascent at a time of worldwide revolution, at a time in which most other filmmaking regions were entering second or third waves of creative renewal, combined with a historical lack of financial support for the filmmaking enterprise - a symptom of ubiquitous financial and political instability - has resulted in some of the most unique, diverse cinema of the past fifty years. Ranging from the established, artistic, state-regulated cinema of Burkina Faso to the populist, truly independent movies coming out of Nigeria (home of the second-largest film-producing industry in the world), the African continent has given birth to new voices and new models of production and distribution that challenge established norms. These models may offer a new paradigm for a worldwide industry which is struggling in the face of fragmented audiences and new, potentially more egalitarian, technologies. Although African films have been receiving worldwide acclaim for decades, it is only recently that many of these ground-breaking films have received attention or been available for viewing in the United States. Course texts, screenings and discussions will be supplemented by individual research projects. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Recommended prerequisite: a course in film studies or anthropology. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $40. *HS* *WF* optional
HS765Money, Politics and Law
This seminar will provide an intensive examination of the role money plays in influencing politics and government as well as the myriad of laws, policies, and regulations that have been crafted in an attempt to limit this influence. The primary focus of the course will be contemporary campaign finance reform initiatives within the United States at both the federal and state levels. This includes a comprehensive examination of current laws and regulations, the historical setting that gave rise to these policies, possible upcoming challenges to the existing structure, and the viability of proposed alternative modes of electoral financing. In addition to the topical emphasis on law and policy, we will also step back and tackle the broader philosophical issues that arise whenever societies attempt to determine what is, and is not, legitimate "participation" in the democratic process. While the bulks of our case studies will come from within the United States, we will also examine various models of campaign financing from countries around the globe. This will be a reading intensive course driven by in-class discussion and deliberation. In addition to the common focus of the group, students will be encouraged to pursue their own individual research interests related to the topic of money and government. Evaluation will be based on a combination of class participation, periodic short form writing assignments, and a final research project. Interested students should have previous experience with coursework in politics, governance, the legal process, or policymaking. Level: Intermediate; Permission of the instructor is required; *HS*
HS766Afghanistan, Pakistan and India: Crossroads of Conflict
This is a reading course that will culminate with a trip to the annual foreign affairs conference in Camden, ME. The conference features experts from all over the world talking on a range of topics connected with US relations with Afghanistan. It is based on the assumption that no assessment or understanding of the situation in Afghanistan can be separated from attention to critical factors and developments in neighboring Pakistan which in turn leads to a focus upon the complex and volatile relations between Pakistan and India. Topics include: India?s internal coherence and stability after another year of global recession; who are the Afghans in cultural, political and religious terms?; political and military stability in Pakistan and its attempts to curb radical elements. Basic background reading on India, Afghanistan and India will expand to the more specific questions on inter-country relationships and US Foreign policy. Evaluation: Students will be asked to participate and lead discussions based on specific questions that will be given to them for each class (the material will come from the extensive readings they are required to do). In addition, students will be asked to write a paper on one of the themes in the conference (to be submitted at the end of the course). They will also be asked to write an evaluation of the Camden Conference: in specific how and why how it expanded (or did not expand) their understanding of the subject. Level: Advanced; Class limit: 10; Lab fee: $100
HS775Immersion Program in French Language and Culture
This double credit course is offered through collaboration with CAVILAM university as part of the COA program in Vichy, France. For eight weeks, students take 20 hours a week of language classes and workshops taught by immersion methods and advanced audio-visual techniques. Students also live with host families in homestays and take part in a variety of cultural activities. They are carefully tested and placed at levels appropriate to their ability and are expected to advance in all four language skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - as gauged by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages scale of learning levels. Level: Beginning to advanced (depending on prior language level). Requirements: co-enrollment in HS776 "Doing Human Ecology in Cross-cultural Contexts: France" and permission of instructor. Class limit: 12
HS781Tutorial: Reading and Writing Chinese Characters
This tutorial is a basic introduction to reading and writing Chinese characters and using Chinese dictionaries. Students will have weekly writing assignments in order to become familiar with several hundred characters. By the end of the term students should be able to use dictionaries to compose rough translations of some classic texts and poetry. Though the tutorial can be taken for its own sake, it provides good preparation for the tutorial "Classical Chinese through Poetry".
HS782Tutorial: Advanced Seminar in Human Ecology
The purpose of this tutorial is to review the many uses of the term ?human ecology?. It begins with an historical review of the academic and intellectual origins of human ecology. From these foundations, we proceed through the development of more interdisciplinary approaches to human ecology --- working with primary source materials (e.g., books, articles, position papers, academic program descriptions and related documents). We will further explore the activities of various regional, national and international associations and the aims of leading educational institutions. Assignments and discussions will revolve around several current problems that face human ecology. In particular, we will focus on: various theoretical controversies within and between biological and human ecology; issues and proposed methods of inter-disciplinary problem-solving, planning and application; and the growth of professional opportunities in human ecology worldwide. Evaluations will be based on careful reading and review of assigned materials, participation in discussions, individual papers and a collaborative group project. Level: Advanced; Permission of instructor required; Class limit: 3 Permission of instructor required.
Climate change is one of the largest and most difficult challenges faced by contemporary societies. The challenge has multiple facets: environmental, social, political, economic - each with its own complexities. This course focuses primarily on the social, political and economic components of the climate problem, framed by the concept of climate justice. In the introductory section of the course students are introduced to basic conceptions of justice, the latest findings of climate science and possible impacts on regional scales, as well as the ongoing intergovernmental climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The main body of the course is dedicated to understanding the concept and implementation of climate justice: how the costs of climate change impacts and efforts to address climate change could or should be distributed between rich and poor, global north and global south, and what are the possible means whereby those costs might be collectively addressed through an intergovernmental agreement. Students will be evaluated based on regular quizzes, several short papers, class participation, and a final synthetic paper or project. Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $10. *HS*
HS795Advanced Seminar in Economics: Globalization
This seminar will use the topic of economic globalization as a context in which to learn, tinker with, and critique a wide range of microeconomic, macroeconomic, and economic development theories, models, and empirical evidence. There is no general economic theory of globalization, so our coverage will necessarily be eclectic, selective, and largely based on student interests. As a departure point for using economics to explore the contours of globalization, we will employ a rubric encompassing five themes: 1) fundamental processes (such as economic growth and population dynamics) that lead to economic globalization; 2) studies of the flows of economic inputs and products (addressing capital flows and controls, migration and remittances, international commodity markets, and trade and trade imbalances); 3) the institutions and governance that influence economic globalization (such as pre- and post-colonial institutions, corporate structure and governance, and the roles of the IMF and WTO); 4) inequality (addressing global class structure, foreign aid and sovereign debt, and gender issues); and 5) crises (currency crises and contagion, the recent financial crisis). Evaluation will be based on participation in extensive discussions in and out of the classroom, submission of pr?s and problem sets, and a synthetic capstone essay. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: courses in intermediate economics and international issues or equivalent, and permission of instructor. *HS*
HS799Tutorial: Classical Chinese through Poetry
The learning of classical Chinese is the key to thousands of years of Chinese literature. One of the richest and most enjoyable approaches to the classical language - which is very different from the Chinese spoken language - is through China?s long poetical tradition. This tutorial serves as a basic introduction to the reading and writing of characters and the language patterns and structures most commonly used. Pass/fail grade option required. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Reading and Writing Chinese Characters. Class limit: 5
HS804Challenges from Asia: China, India and Japan
This is a reading course that will culminate with a trip to the annual foreign affairs conference in Camden (Feb 18-20.). The conference features experts from all over the world talking on a range of topics connected with US relations with China, India and Japan. The course is based on the assumption that no understanding of the foreign relations among these countries and the US, the rest of Asia and elsewhere in the world can be achieved without a serious consideration of the changing social, political and economic situations within the three countries. Students will come to this class with different levels of knowledge and experience of these subjects, some with very little information on these countries. Basic background reading on China, Japan and India will expand to more specific questions on inter-country relationships and US Foreign policy. Evaluation: Students will be asked to participate and lead discussions based on specific questions that will be given to them for each class (the material will come from the extensive readings they are required to do). In addition, students will be asked to write a paper on one of the themes in the conference (to be submitted at the end of the course). They will also be asked to write an evaluation of the Camden Conference: in specific how and why how it expanded (or did not expand) their understanding of the subject. Level: Advanced. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $100
HS815Tutorial: Classical Chinese through Poetry II
The learning of classical Chinese is the key to thousands of years of Chinese literature. One of the richest and most enjoyable approaches to the classical language - which is very different from the Chinese spoken language - is through China's long poetical tradition. This tutorial serves as a basic introduction to the reading and writing of characters and the language patterns and structures most commonly used. This is a continuation of Classical Chinese through Poetry and students must have taken the first section in order to register for this tutorial. Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Classical Chinese through Poetry. Class limit: 5
HS816Feminism and Fundamentalism
Feminism and Fundamentalism is a seminar in which principal issues surrounding the impacts of extreme religious conservatism on the power and status of women, and the reactions against this of women seeking to establish their own rights in society, are considered. The topic is relevant to all religions and all countries. Assigned reading includes much material on Islam and Hinduism. However, students will read about Christianity and Judaism as well and may choose to do their papers on any country and any religion. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. *HS*
HS821International Financial Institutions
International financial institutions (IFI) such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the regional development banks mobilize significant resources for both public and private sector investment in developing countries. Beyond this central role in lending and grant making to developing countries, the Global Environment Facility of the World Bank serves as the financial mechanism for major environmental treaties, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. What exactly are these institutions - how do they operate and who controls them? Why were they created and how have they come to be so powerful? The course will examine the history of the institutions, their governance structures, and their mechanisms of operation. Special attention will be paid to their role in the debt crisis and the subsequent era of structural adjustment lending, civil society critiques of the environmental and social impacts of bank lending, and the role and operation of the Global Environment Facility as financial mechanism for the environmental conventions. Readings will include primary documents of the IFIs themselves as well as decisions of the governing bodies of the UN conventions. We will also read both academic and civil society analyses and critiques of IFI lending. Evaluation will be based on class discussion as well as several problem sets assigned throughout the term and a final analytical paper. Level: Intermediate/advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Students should have course background in international politics and/or economics. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $10. *HS*
HS834Egypt: Political History and Modernization
This course will focus on the political history of modern Egypt primarily in the period of 1952 to the present. Students will study how the political culture and major political power structure changed as Egyptian society and polity modernized. The recent revolution and its aftermath will be analyzed in the context of the Inglehart modernization theory that all nations move towards demanding individual rights and autonomy as their economy grows and society modernizes. In pursuing this question, students will consider the persistent effects of colonialism and neocolonialism, the importance of culture and religion, the results of mass education, the spread of advanced technology and the impact of globalization. Students will also consider the ways in which popular demands are expressed -and heard - in Egypt and the extent to which women and minorities are able to fully participate in the political process. Each class will include a short lecture and student-led discussion. Evaluation will be based on two short papers, a take-home final, and discussion leadership, participation, and presentation of individual research. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. *HS*
HS851Tutorial: Advanced Climate Policy
HS854Farms, Orchards and Cider: Agricultural History in England
This course will be an intensive field-based exploration in England of the history of English agriculture through the lens of the production, consumption and marketing of apples. Students will travel to England during winter break to learn about the changes in social, cultural and economic aspects of farming in England from Roman times to the present with an emphasis on the evolution of rural farms and landscapes. We will discuss land tenure, land use, labor practices, farming practices, and much more at sites throughout England as we think through what historical insights can tell us about the past, present and future of farming and the rural economy. Students will do exercises on landscape history, visit museums, farms, cider producers and research stations as well as meeting leading experts. The course will continue with a seminar during the winter term on campus in which students will pursue projects inspired by their experiences and learning in England. Student evaluation will be based on the participation in the field-based components of the class in England and the project-based learning back on campus. The course will include an English language immersion component. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Program Fee: $1,200. Class limit: 12. *HS* *HY*
HS857The United States in the 21st Century World: End of Empire?
This is a reading intensive course that is tied to the annual "Camden Conference" held in Camden, Maine. This three day conference brings in experts from all over the world to discuss a range of topics related to foreign policy, international relations, and diplomacy. Over the past several years, College of the Atlantic has developed a relationship with the conference that enables our students to engage the various events over the full three days. Every year highlights a particular theme, with a new set of focused panel discussions, speakers, and readings. The topic of this year's conference is "The U.S. in a 21st Century World: Do We Have What it Takes?" Some of the anticipated discussion sessions will involve the following questions: What will it take to be an economic superpower in the Twenty-First Century? What are the likely threats the U. S. will face in the Twenty-First Century? Does American society have what it takes to be a Twenty-First Century "world citizen?" Is the US still the "indispensible nation" to help resolve seemingly intractable problems? What skills will Americans need to remain competitive in the Twenty-First Century? How secure is the energy future of the U.S.? How does gridlock in Washington affect US foreign policy? What is the role of media in influencing foreign policy? This class is built to parallel the thematic cornerstones of this year's Camden topic. We will cover some of these topics in depth, leave off others, and add a few of our own. It is modeled as a reading intensive and discussion based seminar that will include works from both the conference reading list as well as supplemental works that I have added. The goals of the class are twofold. First, to prepare students to attend and play an active role in the conference (attendance is a requirement of the class) by providing them a background immersion in the topics that are at the center of this year's conference. Secondly, to assist students returning from the conferen
HS858Global Politics of Sustainable Development: 20 yrs after Rio
The Earth Summit that took place in Rio in 1992 defined the following two decades of global cooperation on environment and development issues. This course serves to review the history of those two decades and prepare students to be active participants in the UN review conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. Students will read primary documents from the original conference and the 10-year review conference (the World Summit on Sustainable Development), and preparatory documents for the upcoming summit. They will examine positions of the main country blocs and the contributions of major UN specialized agencies (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Development Program and UN Environment Program). A central axis for study and analysis of documents and positions will be the political economy of sustainable development. Evaluation will be based on class discussions, weekly written summaries of information contained in readings, and a final presentation or analytical paper on a topic of their choosing. Course level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. *HS*
HS864Ethnography, Advocacy, and Ethics
This course considers how ethnographic research and writing can inform and, in turn, be informed by the work of advocacy. Starting from the premise that advocacy is something that we all do, in different ways and at different levels, we will consider what the tools of ethnography can provide us for both furthering, and also critically unpacking, our roles as advocates. We will also consider how we are often called upon to act as advocates through ethnographic fieldwork: to support one cause over another or take a position - even when it might be easier to look away. At the center of our inquiry will be questions of ethics. What does it mean to advocate responsibly and in an ethical manner? How can advocacy help us develop an informed, responsible ethnographic practice? How can ethnography help us understand the effects and (often unintended) consequences of advocacy projects? In addition to articles and primary sources, we will read full-length ethnographies that examine in detail different advocacy projects. Topics may include: health; human rights advocacy around minorities, culture, gender, and food; environmental advocacy; humanitarian and non-governmental interventions; political asylum; local advocacy projects in Maine and on MDI. This intermediate course is intended for students interested in critically examining the work of advocacy and ethnography and who are ready to read and engage intensively both in class and in their writing. Students will be evaluated on class participation and written assignments; there may also be a field component (to be determined in discussion with students). Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: none. Class limit: 15 *HS*
MD5011Islands: Energy, Economy and CommunityThis course is focused on developing initiatives in the renewable energy and finance sectors on MDI and Maine Islands and is being offered in conjunction with the Island Institute and the Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark. This will be a comprehensive, intensive, interdisciplinary course. Students and community members from Maine’s Islands will learn from the Samsø Island experience of transforming to a carbon negative island through a community driven, grass-roots approach to create investment opportunities for both individuals and businesses in enterprises that developed and scaled, efficiency upgrades, wind, and solar power production and biofuel distributed heating and other elements of a renewable energy portfolio.
Three weeks of the term will be spent at Samsø’s Energy Academy learning the community process, investment and engineering strategies that the small rural farming and tourist community used to transform themselves into an independent energy community and rejuvenate their local economy. The course will push students to identify opportunities within their communities and develop significant energy related ventures accordingly. COA students and island resident participants will use this knowledge to develop plans for adapting and creating appropriate technology, investment platforms or services to reduce energy consumption and to boost renewable energy production here in Maine.
Students will be evaluated based on class participation, written assignments and verbal presentations. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Impact Investing and Energy and Technology.
COURSE LEVEL: Advanced. PREREQUISITES: Instructor Permission and at least one of the following: Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy (preferred), Energy Practicum, Financials, Business Nonprofit Basics, Sustainable Strategies or Launching a New Venture. CLASS LIMIT: 10 COA students and 5 Islanders. LAB FEE: $500.
COA students have Studied In
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago