Term Specific Courses - Fall 2015
(those not listed in the catalog)
AA-351C 001 Community Engagement, Edu/Arts
Arts institutions are increasingly placing community engagement at the center of their missions. This course will survey the varied contexts in which the arts are used in education, social justice, and community building. As an older art-for-art's-sake philosophy recedes and is supplanted by functionalist aesthetic theories (i.e. concern with what art does), governments, schools, non-profits and arts funders all increasingly ask artists to direct their work towards the public sphere. This course will ask, Why do we care about arts education, how can we convince others to care, and what can be done in the face of the cuts to its funding? How exactly do arts experiences successfully create social bonds, literally forging communities? Thus, we will delve into one of the central questions of our time: what is, or should be, the place of creativity in the lives of individuals and societies? This course will survey diverse forms and philosophies of community engagement as they relate to artists and arts institutions (in all media/disciplines). Students will consider how their own artistic practice could be relevant in classrooms, therapeutic contexts, political organizing, community development, and non-profit work, as well as in the education departments of arts presenters and museums. After being introduced to these fields and to professionals within them, students will craft project proposals or curricula to be pitched for implementation in the community or institutional context of their choice. Prerequisite: AA-201 or permission of the instructor
AA-351C 002 The Entrepreneurial Artist
Today's business climate presents many challenges to visual artists. Artists find themselves needing to combine their creative abilities with strong business practices. Whether you are an artist interested in financially sustaining your art making or have a vision to launch an arts-based business, this course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles needed. Through active participation and an interactive classroom format, students will merge practical business knowledge with insight from local experts in the field, to fuel students' entrepreneurial spirit. Topics to be explored include business planning, legal requirements, budgeting, marketing, branding and networking. Prerequisite: Restricted to declared studio art majors/minors only or permission of the instructor
AH-151D 001 and 002 Ways of Seeing: The Art and Architecture of Latin America
Introduction to the art and architecture of Latin America since Spanish arrival in the New World to the present. Students will examine a varied set of visual, spatial, and material practices (painting, sculpture, urban form, cartography, and film, among others) from North and South America to learn how art and architecture shapes and defines colonial encounters and negotiations, religious and cultural exchange, conceptions of race and gender, and notions of nationalism and globalism. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course. Counts for 100-level requirement for AH major)
AH-151 003/004 Ways of Seeing: Art of Africa and the African Diaspora
Survey of the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora from 6,000 B.C. until the present. Students will focus on the perspectives of artists in the study of artworks from diverse cultures. We will investigate how meanings changed as artworks and artistic traditions moved around Africa and the rest of the world through exchange, force, and migration. The course includes examples from throughout Africa and its vast diaspora. (Designated as a Non-Western course. Counts for 100-level requirement for AH majors).
AH351C 001 Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture in the Modern Imagination
A study of attitudes toward pre-Columbian art and architecture from 1524 to the present. Pre-Columbia, a term that describes the periods of the Americas prior to European arrival, has long captivated the imagination of Latin America, Europe, and the United States. This course explores how representations of pre-Columbian art and architecture in maps, paintings, plaster molds, engravings, photographs, architectural drawings, archaeological illustration, and theater design were important to the social, political, and cultural theories and events of the modern period. More specifically, students will learn how these arts shaped creole consciousness, the philosophical debates about the New World and its peoples, public entertainment and mass visuality, American and Mexican nationalism, Mexican mural painting, and Chicano(a) performance art.(Designated a Cultural Diversity course. Counts for 100-level requirement for AH major.)
AH-351B001 Representing Cities
Examines cities as physical and social constructs, and considers how cities are represented in other media (including maps, painting, literature, film). Through a series of select case studies from around the world, students will explore relationships between actual urban spaces and their depictions in visual and literary texts. To draw attention to the ways in which we and others experience cities and make them meaningful, the course will include field trips to downtown Saratoga Springs and New York City.
Note: All-college requirements: 2 credits Counts for "Exploration" in AH; does NOT count for "Breadth" in AH; does NOT count for all-college "non-Western" requirement.
AH-375C 001 Race and Contemporary Art
Explores how contemporary artists address, interrogate and challenge the concept of race. After examining theoretical material on the idea of "race," the class considers provocative thematic and structural issues like sexuality, the body, art institutions, class, and more. Artists studied will include Coco Fusco, Miguel Luciano, Chris Naka, Joyce J. Scott, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley and many others. Because students undertake a major research project and lead class discussions, intellectual initiative and active class participation are expected. Prerequisite: Open to junior and senior majors or minors in art history or studio art; or permission of the instructor
AH-375D 001 Textiles and Fashion of Africa and the African Diaspora
Investigates the impact of cultural exchange, industrialization, and globalization on textiles and fashion produced and worn in Africa and the African Diaspora. Students will learn both technical and theoretical analytic methods through the hands-on study of artworks in museums and personal collections. Students will learn basic weaving, and there will be other options for the fabrication of textiles or garments. Topics studied will include: Kente cloth and nationalism; waxprint cloth and globalization; Hip hop music and global fashion; and African fashion and haute couture. The course will include visits to the Tang Museum, as well as a field trip to New York City. Prerequisite: Open to junior and senior majors or minors in art history or studio art; or permission of the instructor.
AM-103W 002 Introduction to American Studies: American Cultural Geographies
What is American “culture”? Why is it such an important concept to how we perceive and live in relation to the world around us? Is American “culture” a thing, an idea, a set of practices, or a myth? Does American culture unite or divide us? Is American culture connected to certain people and places, or is it mobile? How does it impact the ways people perceive themselves in relation to others, nationally and transnationally? What about all of these questions is geographic, and does thinking about American culture geographically give us a different understanding of the term? AM 103 is designed to address these and other questions about something called American “culture”. To do so, it will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of American Studies and the ways that a geographic approach helps us make sense of American cultural practices and how it shapes the global world around us. In AM 103, students will examine how questions of American culture are always already questions of place, landscape, identity, politics, economics, and history, and how a geographic approach to such questions helps us understand the world in more critical ways.
AM-260I 001 Themes in American Culture: Popular Culture
A topical examination of the cultural-historical process of the creation, dissemination, and consumption of mass or popular culture and analysis of popular culture as a defining characteristic of America and Americans. Specific focus will be upon the evolution of American Orientalism and Xenophobia the twentieth and twenty-first century, and the interrelationships between popular culture, including film, literature, television, and visual cultures, and depictions of Muslim and Arab identities, cultures, and geographies.
AM-376 001 September 11 and the War on Terror
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 stand as a defining moment for United States culture in the past decade. This course examines cultural responses to the post-September 11th period, asking both what the domestic and foreign policy responses to the attacks have been, how Americans engage with these events and their ongoing policies, how the events have been represented in popular culture, and how they manifest within contemporary politics, identity-based and geopolitcal. As we do so, we will read primary documents from the period, the best recent scholarship, and a range of popular texts that includes graphic novels, journalism, documentary films, and memorial reviews. Our discussions will take seriously the premise that cultural texts do not simply reflect already-extant cultural ideas but rather play a critical role in the production of competing ideas about the events, their cultural significance, and their political import. Our goal will be to analyze not only the events of September 11 and the United States’ political, military, and cultural response to them but also how those events and responses are significant within larger debates about of race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and patriotism in the contemporary United States as well as questions about the United States’ role in global affairs.
AN-252C 001 Archaeology of the Middle East
The goal of this course is to introduce students to early human societies of the Middle East as we know them through archaeological remains. While ancient Mesopotamia is the most famous cultural sphere attested to in the archaeological record of the region, the Middle East has been host to a variety of other important socio-cultural phenomena from the origins of farming to the emergence of the world's earliest multi-ethnic empires. Students will find out in this course that the archaeology of the Middle East also has much to tell us about some of the biggest topics in anthropology including the origins of humanity, the development of social inequality, and the state. There are nearly two-million years of human occupation in the Middle East and this course will cover a number of topics beginning with early Hominin dispersals out of Africa and ending with the massive empires of ancient times. (Designated a non-Western cultures course; fulfills social sciences requirement.)
AN-346R 001 Rethinking Materiality: The Anthropology of Stuff
An exploration of the importance of material objects in human life and the ways in which cultural anthropologists and other scholars have contributed to the study of materiality, a highly interdisciplinary field of research. In this seminar, drawing on case studies from different times and places, students learn to recognize the importance of material objects in the social world and their own lives. How do objects help people define their identity, structure their lives, remember the past, and facilitate action? What personal and collective stories do objects tell? Do we control the objects around us, or do those objects control us? Among the types of objects studied in this course are sentimental objects, collectibles, memorials, protest art, and technology. Prerequisite: AN-101
AN-351C 001 Urban Anthropology
This course focuses on anthropological perspectives of urban life across the globe. How do citizens in Rio de Janeiro counter Brazilian efforts to "clean" the city in preparation for the Olympic Games? How do African city dwellers in Ghana create local identities in response to global trade and exploitation? To examine such questions, the class uses ethnography and film to explore culture in contemporary urban spaces. Students learn the main theoretical frameworks anthropologists use to study culture and how urban life relates to national, transnational, and global forces. Studies focus on how inhabitants adapt to urban environments as well as create new identities that give city spaces distinctive characteristics. Students deconstruct urban terminology (Metropolitan, Ghetto, City, and Neighborhood) to decipher the complex relationship between urban inhabitants and urban infrastructure. Case studies include current events in Brazil and the preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games; the reshaping of Tokyo's neighborhoods in response to globalization; neoliberal development in Ghana and local responses in music and sport; and city culture in the United States and our perceived associations with poverty, gangs, drugs, and street culture. We particularly explore how class, race and ethnicity affect the movement of people and use of resources, and we explore how anthropologists apply contemporary studies to address social problems. Each student develops a case study of a particular issue in a global city that involves health, development, or culture. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course.) Prerequisite: AN-101 or AN-102 or permission of the instructor
AN-351D 001 Biological Approaches to Medical Anthropology
This course explores the relationship between evolutionary theory and topics in biological and medical anthropology. We will examine various topics including evolution, health, medicine, and human biological variation. It will introduce students to this evolutionary perspective on disease, while also considering non-evolutionary aspects of common diseases, such as social, political, and cultural aspects of human health and illness. The goal of this course is to begin to unravel how natural selection, adaptation, and phylogeny provide insights into human health and disease (and therefore the treatment of disease). Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102
AN-351D 002 Anthropology of Power and Violence
Are power and violence natural in human culture? If humans are violent by nature, how do we explain cooperation and communalism? If cooperation and communalism are the norm, then how do we account for warfare, genocide, or state repression? What are the foundations of power and inequality in human society? How and why do individuals, groups, and social institutions legitimize power to repress, coerce, and kill? In this course we will investigate many of these classical topics from a cross-cultural and cross-temporal perspective. We will examine questions concerning where power comes from, how power relations shift over space and time, how power is legitimated, and how people articulate power relations in cross-cultural contexts. We will explore how people experience and interpret power and violence, and how ordinary people come to justify conflict. In addition to the traditionally understood forms of physical violence, we will also examine some of the structural and invisible forms of violence including but not limited to poverty, illness and diseases, fear and insecurity, and social exclusion.
Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102
AN-352D 001 Anarchist Archaeology
Anarchy, meaning a society without a centralized governance system, is a term associated in the popular imagination with disorder and aggression. However, archaeologists exploring how societies in the past were held together in the absence of a central government, have begun to reconstruct just how orderly such societies can be. The vast majority of communities, which have populated human history, were organized without any central decision making authority. Yet, somehow, people managed to form associations capable of collective action on a grand scale; producing such things as monumental pyramids, walled cities, and money-based economies stretching across hundreds of miles of territory. Using the archaeological record, this course will expose students to a variety of social, political, and economic systems in the past that allowed large-scale collective action, while not requiring a central authority to enforce correct behavior. Examples will include, Coast Salish communities of Washington state and British Columbia, later Native American communities of California, the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, the West African city of Jenne-Jeno, ancient Sardinia's Nuragic communities, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of Upstate New York, pre-colonial Vanuatu and Hawaii, and black markets run by enslave Africans in colonial Jamaica. Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102
AR-264F 001 Water-based Media
An exploration of water-based drawing and painting media, with a focus on acrylic paint. Using direct observation, experimentation, and invention, this course builds understanding of formal principles, color interaction, and the physical qualities of materials. Assignments support development of a personal vision. Prerequisites: AR-133; Studio Fee $25
AR-264H001 Artist Books
An introduction to the traditions and methods of the handmade artists' book in a combination of the critical study of original works and bookmaking processes. The student will learn the expressive possibilities of sequential pictorial information combined with original text. Construction of various bindings, relief prints, and letterpress will be explored. Prerequisites: AR-133 or AR-228. Lab/Credit Fee: $75
AR-264J 001 Interactive Design
An introduction to designing interactive pages and environments for the web. Emphasis is placed on visual and information design through theories of color, principles of design and the study of typography. A variety of tools and techniques will be explored including photo editing, writing code for the web and animation through basic scripting languages. Studio projects will explore issues of audience participation, experience design, motion and interface. Prerequisite: AR-131 or AR-133 or AR-134 or AR-136. Studio Fee: $105
AR-351J 001 Motion Graphics and Animation
An investigation of the relationship of text and image through time using motion graphics and image editing tools. Students will develop short films and animations using visual material from photographs, prints, drawings, paintings, illustrations and three-dimensional work. Projects will explore the visual vocabulary of motion, principles of animation, typography, storytelling and two and three-dimensional space. Through critiques, readings, discussions, and writing assignments students will build a historical and critical context for their work. Prerequisite: AR-136 or any 200 level Studio Art Course. Lab/Credit Fee: $105
DA-274B 001 Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dancers
This is a hands-on introduction to the field of dance science. This course will help to enhance understanding of the human body, reduce the risk of injury, and improve performance. Emphasis will be placed on learning basic anatomy, anatomical analysis, injury prevention, and conditioning for dancers. Lab sessions include aquatic rehab (in the pool!), massage for dancers, and taping techniques for injuries, and video technique analysis and much more. (No prerequisites, 3 liberal arts credit)
DA-274B 002 Dance, Music & Film
This course will explore the art of making dance films with original musical scores. Making dances for film takes choreography off of the traditional concert stage and into other environments. The investigation of the relationship of the camera and the human form is paramount. The class will consist of conceiving, directing, filming, editing, and composing sound scores utilizing music and film editing software. Filming will take place at many locations around the Saratoga Springs community. The class is open to and encourages students from many disciplines to participate. Together we will break the traditional boundaries of the defined roles of the artists by participating in all aspects of the creative process of making dances for film. Participation by computer animators is encouraged also. The class will culminate in a showing at the end of the semester of the many projects completed. (No prerequisites, 3 liberal arts credits)
DS-202A 001 Documenting Machine Project @ the Tang
This Fall, the Tang Museum hosts an exciting program of cutting-edge contemporary performance (including work from poetry, theatre, sound, dance, and way beyond) co-curated with Los Angeles' Machine Project and its founder, Mark Allen, a Skidmore alumnus. In Documenting Machine Project, students will produce and direct a mini-documentary work (in sound, video or multimedia) about one of the Project’s visiting artists, based on public performance and additional conversations and rehearsals/performances. In this workshop, students will use their existing production skills to build a media/documentary portfolio, and to engage with the Tang's exciting programming and visitors. Students will attend weekly events in September, October and November with Machine Project's Director, the exhibition curator, and a visiting artist. In the final third of the semester, students will complete their documentary projects. The end result will be an archive/exhibit of all the projects as a collective portrait of the Tang's exhibition. Prerequisite: DS-251 (any section, concurrent enrollment OK), past media technology experience, or permission of the instructor.
DS-251B 001 Storytelling for the Screen
The craft of storytelling for the screen will be honed through examining landmark films, documentaries, television shows and an assortment of new media. We will put what we learn into practice through writing our own visual stories and class discussion. Over the course of the semester, students will learn the classic three act structure for telling a visual story. They will develop skills in how to craft a compelling log line, as well as learn to create a skeleton treatment from which to build a story. They will develop a final treatment which can be shared with other participants in the often collaborative work of telling stories through the various visual mediums available to 21st century storytellers.
DS-251C 001 Intro to Audio Documentary
In this course, students will learn the technologies, tools, and skills to create audio documentaries. Working individually and in small production teams, we will produce original sound works for radio broadcast and podcast. Closely linked to the development of our studio and field practice as audio recordists, editors, and producers, we will also listen to and critically analyze examples in the medium, ranging from classics of international radio art to today's most innovative podcasts. Analyzing the aesthetics, extrapolating techniques and getting inspiration from these exemplars, we will try our hands at varied ways of sculpting an audio experience, telling stories, and representing reality. The course assumes no prior knowledge of audio technologies, and should interest budding documentarians, writers, performers, and digital artists regardless of primary medium. Through a partnership with WSPN, students may have the opportunity to appear live on the radio to introduce, air and engage in a discussion about their projects. Note: an optional fourth credit is available for students to work, alongside the instructor, as a collaborative production team on the Skidmore-Saratoga Memory Project in DS-202A
DS-251D 001 Documentary Film
Documentary Production focuses on the critical and technical skills that support the production of non-fiction video. Basic shooting and editing techniques will be covered as well as an introduction to a wide range of production methods and creative strategies that encourage exploration in all aspects of the medium. Class time will be used for technical workshops, critiques, screenings and discussions. Throughout the semester students will propose, shoot, edit and present a short documentary video.
DS-302A 001 Documentary Project (9/9 - 10/30)
This course is for students interested in developing a documentary project based on existing or in-progress research in any discipline with the support of a documentarian and visiting practitioners in the field. Proposed projects may employ video, sound, photography, installation and/or media work. Students will workshop an individual short project through written reflections, rough cut screenings/presentations and group and individual critiques. Students will focus on finding an approach to form that suits both subject matter and their personal creative and academic goals. Students will also work with readings, technical workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and discussions. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
DS-302A 002 Workshop: Archival Storytelling
In this workshop, students will work with their own research materials or Skidmore Saratoga Memory Project partners to develop documentary stories from sound, visual and text-based archival materials. Workshops will cover basics of organizing and inventorying archival materials, identifying story ideas and materials, and preparing documentary project proposals.
DS-381 001 Skidmore Saratoga Memory Practicum: Senior Center 60th; 1st 7 weeks of classes; students will meet 2x a week for 1 hour.
In collaboration with the Saratoga Adult and Senior Center, students will assist staff and seniors in researching and documenting the Center's growth and history. The primary project is to develop documentary programming for the Center's 60th anniversary celebration in November 2015. Students involved in this Memory Project will work with multiple documentary forms, including oral history and video, as we plan for a gala event.
English Department Course Descriptions can be found here.
EX-361 001 The Physiology of Aging
This course will examine the physiological consequences of aging and discusses the importance of physical activity in maintaining function. Topics will include general theories of aging, the effects of aging on the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, and nervous systems. We will consider the age associated changes in these physiological systems in the context of exercise as a stressor and its potential to preserve function.
FF-263 001 Culture Wars in Early Modern France: Driving forward in the rear-view mirror
Abortion, gun control, global warming, evolution, taxation, homosexuality, racism, animal rights, immigration, separation of church and state, censorship, imperialism, elitism and populism...Sound familiar? These are the familiar issues that define the contemporary American culture wars. Most of our identity, our sense of who we are and what we stand for, is derived from these crude litmus tests. Moreover, we sense that these defining issues are somehow unique to us, urgent, definitive, anchored in the here and now. In short, we profoundly believe that these issues represent milestones on our march toward "progress." Our very future, it seems, hangs on their outcome.
But what if it simply isn't true? What if there really is nothing new under the sun? What if all that you believed that defined you and your generation, your very notion of progress, might in fact just be the latest rehash of a centuries-old debate? What if the clearest understanding of today actually lies in yesterday?
Join me in this interdisciplinary journey back in time to 17th-century France to discover some of the earliest formulations of our "modern" culture wars. History, culture, art, literature, religion, philosophy, science, theater...no stone will be left unturned. The goal of our course will to examine our preconceived notions of progress through the study of one of the richest, most dynamics periods in the history of French culture, a period which continues to define contemporary France and the modern industrialized world...a period that, whether you know it or not, continues to define you. Pre-requisite: FF 210
FL-263 002 Intercultural Communication
Much of communication is mis-recognized miscommunication. We interact with each other mostly on autopilot, largely unaware of the norms that drive us, assuming they are universal. They aren't--even when we're speaking the same language. On matters big and small--everything from the proper pause length between speaking turns to the whole point of an interaction, differing expectations about how and why the communication itself should happen create misunderstandings that, if we notice them at all, we likely misattribute to only what we can see. We tend to experience these misunderstandings as issues of power, thus evoking and perpetuating stereotypes and bias.
What are these different norms for communication? How are they formed? How can we learn to recognize and understand them? How can we use this knowledge to interact with others more effectively? The interdisciplinary field of Intercultural Communication tackles these questions with approaches and insights from cultural, moral and cognitive anthropology and psychology, communication studies, linguistics (sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics) and management and business. With examples drawn from Chinese and American cultures, through readings and interactive exercises, lectures and discussion, and individual and group projects, this introduction to Intercultural Communication offers a foundation of knowledge upon which to build a lifetime of the interpersonal and intercultural awareness and skills that everyone needs to interact effectively in our interconnected world today. (Designated a non-Western cultures course; fulfills humanities requirement.)
GN-151A 001/002 English for Academic Engagement (2 Credits)
English for Academic Engagement centers on building students' vocabulary and teaching language skills necessary for students to integrate with the Skidmore academic community and engage in academic discourse. Students will work directly with faculty and peer tutors to develop skills that include academic oral engagement, public speaking, conversational and interpersonal communication strategies, reading comprehension, and listening. The course is open to all students seeking to further develop their English language skills. Final placement will be reviewed and approved by faculty prior to the start of the semester. Letter grade only
GN-151B 002 Tutoring English Language Learners (2 Credits)
An introduction to approaches and techniques involved in peer tutoring of English Language Learners (ELL), with emphasis on writing, reading, grammatical/meta-linguistic context, and cultural awareness. Students will learn skills necessary to support the efforts of non-native speakers of English during workshop-style meetings and a one hour weekly practicum with peer tutees. The course includes a balance of relevant literature and practicum component, where tutors apply their training with peer English Language Learners. Designed for students interested in or currently serving as a peer tutor. Letter grade only
GO-364A 001Politics and Governance in Contemporary Islamic Thought (5 week course
9/10 - 10/13)
This course focuses on the development of politics and governance in contemporary Islamic thought. Emphasis will be placed on the question: What is an Islamic state?--governance, religion & politics, a shariʿa state, Islam & democracy, international relationships, human rights, non-Muslims in a Muslim state, and so forth. Certain cases of theocratic regimes, such as in Saudi Arabia and Iran, will be studied. Also, other attempts to establish a theocracy in various modern Islamic and Arab countries will be discussed.
IA-351 001 Terrorism and International Law: A Comparative Study of Global Counterterrorism
Responses & Approaches
From drone strikes in Waziristan and Yemen to detainees in Guantanamo Bay, with lone wolves or armed groups attacking civilians across the globe, to the hunting and killing of Osama bin Laden and the rise of ISIS, global terrorism is in the news nearly every day, raising important questions in international law and global politics. Students will explore various responses to domestic and international terrorism, from several countries' perspectives, especially (but not exclusively) in the post-9/11 world. Examining the nature of terrorist organizations, the roots of sociopolitical violence, religious extremism and the impact of economic globalization on terrorism, the course will familiarize students with complex and often conflicting arguments of law, policy and morality in the national security arena and on the world stage. Students will engage concepts in domestic and international law and study the power of sovereign state governments to address terrorism in legal, extra-legal, military and international geopolitical contexts. In particular, students will comparatively analyze the underlying legal standards involving specific examples of domestic and international counterterrorism initiatives, address impediments to obtaining meaningful international cooperation and coordination on these policies, and consider their impact on civil liberties, criminal justice, open government and human rights. A few documentary films will be shown on some evenings during the semester.
ID-221 001 Multicultural Flare-ups
A study of tensions arising from the dynamics of social identity and belonging in multicultural societies. Students combine methods from history, political science, legal studies, anthropology, sociology, and media studies to analyze incidents of explosive socio-cultural conflict. The class is a discussion-based seminar with students working on a substantial field project. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course, fulfills Social Science.)
ID-251A 001 Assisted Autobiography: Bridges to Skidmore
The field of collaborative life-writing has had significant consequences for people who might not, without some form of assistance, have access to the technologies of written autobiography. In this unique class, students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively on life-writing projects with participants of Saratoga Bridges, a local non-profit agency for people with developmental disabilities. Working in pairs, Skidmore students will assist Bridges participants in composing short memoirs, in addition to completing their own short life-narratives and reflective accounts of their experiences as autobiography "partners." The course will begin with training in working with people with developmental disabilities as well as discussion of the ethical responsibilities entailed in writing on behalf of another person. Limited to 8 students to facilitate partnering with Bridges.
ID-251A 002 Restorative Justice for College Misconduct
Restorative Justice is gaining popularity on college campuses as a philosophical and practical response to student misconduct. Restorative justice is a collaborative decision-making process that includes harmed parties, offenders, and others seeking to hold offenders accountable by having them (a) accept and acknowledge responsibility for their offenses, (b) to the best of their ability repair the harm they caused, and (c) work to reduce the risk of reoffense by building positive social ties to the community. This class is organized as a training for members of the Integrity Board. The weekly meetings include student, faculty and staff members of IB and those that wish to become members. The training will include a discussion of relevant readings, debriefing of cases, and skill-building exercises. Permission of instructor required.
ID-251A 003 Book Design
This is a one-credit course that will explore the basics of book design and provide an opportunity to design and publish a book using your own content, or content from an existing course. We will break down the components of layout design, type and image and design a book from the ground up. InDesign, Photoshop (as it relates to design practice), font and file management, printing, and the use of images and type, are introduced through a series of demonstrations/projects that build upon one another. This course includes basic information about book typography, grids and structures, proportions, formats, using images, placing and styling text, and ultimately publishing a book for print as an ibook or emagazine. This course has been designed for students at any level of experience.
ID-251A 004 Photography
The class will explore what makes a good photograph and the decisions that the photographer must always make to that end. We will begin by becoming familiar with digital cameras and their controls. We will work on composition, exposure, and seeing, through lectures, demonstrations, and exercises. We will then learn about what to do after the picture is captured: organizing, adding metadata, and adjusting the image, and creating a series all in Adobe Lightroom. No previous experience necessary.
ID-251A 005 Video Storytelling
This two-credit course will be a video production boot camp.
Required to bring a proposal to the first day of class. This can be an idea from an existing course or a story you would like to develop and learn how to take it from concept to completion. Videos can include documentary, narrative or experimental forms.
This is a skills-based visual course that has been designed for students at any level of experience. 10/23 - 12/11
Drop date is 10/30.
ID-251C 001 Women and Visual Culture in Latin America
A study of women as subjects, producers, and consumers of visual culture in Latin America from the pre-Columbian period to the early 1970s. Students will explore how different modes of visual representation (including painting, photography, film, and comic strips) constructed gender identities and engaged debates about civil, racial, political, labor, religious, and reproductive rights. A diverse selection of case studies and analytical approaches will foster interdisciplinary thinking and critical reflection on gender issues in both the past and the present. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course. Counts for Latin American Studies minor, Gender Studies major/minor, and Art History major/minor. Counts for breadth category "d" for AH major.)
GO-251B 001 States, Rebels, and Warlords
This course examines violent conflict in modern societies. It explores the role of the state as well as non-state actors in causing, escalating, and mitigating violence. We will address major questions underlying national and international security, such as: When does conflict turn violent? Under what conditions do victims become perpetrators, and perpetrators become victims? What are the causes of terrorism, and what is the state's role in terrorist activity? Is violence the only way to bring about major political change, or can nonviolent methods work? Are private military contractors changing the way we fight? The goal of this course is to develop critical awareness of and the analytical skills necessary to evaluate the major security challenges facing countries around the world. Prerequisite: GO-103
GO-251C 001 Voting Reform and Democracy
Compared to other democracies, the way elections are run in the US can be downright embarrassing. Controversies across the country have demonstrated that the way American democracy is run is far from American ideals about how democracy should work. This course will examine whether US elections live up to expectations of fairness, freedom, and accessibility for all citizens. We will examine the problems, recent and proposed reforms, and the impacts of changes like online voter registration, early voting, voting by mail, voter ID requirements, and many more. We will trace the evolution of voting from the rowdy white gentry gathering in taverns of the 1700s through the successful voting rights battles of women and people of color in the 1900s, before spending most of the semester on the major changes in how Americans vote over the last 15-20 years and new proposals being debated across the country. (Fulfills Social Science) Prerequisite: GO-101
GO-351A 001 Travelers' Wisdom: Political Theory in a Global Age
Advances in technology and transportation allow us to see ourselves as "global citizens," suggesting we require new ways to think about political life. However, travel has always been an important theme of Western political thought, beginning with the ancient Greek practice of theoria-the practice of visiting foreign city-states and describing those customs in order to develop a particular kind of political wisdom. Political theorists, who have used travel as a means to acquire political wisdom, explore the very challenges that are central to political life in our global age: interconnectedness and diversity; the contingent and shifting nature of political identity; and threats of political and cultural imperialism. Prerequisite: GO-102 Recommended: GO-204 or GO-205H.
GO-367 001 Real Democracy
How well does democracy work in Saratoga Springs? How do we know? The foundation of democracy in the United States is its institutions of local government. The men and women chosen by their fellow citizens to govern them determine not only what their governments do, but also the quality of the democratic process. The hotly contested fall Saratoga Springs city council election will provide a real life laboratory for studying the practice of democracy in 21st century America. Students will observe city council meetings, attend campaign events; interview local political elites; and conduct a survey of citizens' vote choice in the November Saratoga Springs city election. Students will learn quantitative and qualitative research methods including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, direct observation, archival analysis, quasi-experimental, descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis. Prerequisite: GO-101 or permission of the instructor
MB-351C001 Visualizing Work: Pop Culture's Representation of the Work Experience
A visual analysis and exploratory study of pop culture's (often misguided) message about the nature of work. Cultural media (e.g., film, television, advertisements) increasingly communicate what may be perceived as "truths" about the work world. Students will analyze how key themes in the work experience are depicted in a variety of visual media (e.g., gender roles in Wall Street versus Devil Wears Prada, career advancement in Nickelodeon's I'm the New VP, risk-taking behaviors in Discover Channel's Deadliest Catch) while designing a small-scale study to examine the cultural implications of these pop culture messages. Classroom analysis of visual media, research design, and film editing will occur throughout the term. This course covers the following dimensions for studying management and business in context: I, II, III, IV.
*Students registering for this course will be required to register either for a 1-credit ID course on film editing or to attend workshops on film editing. Prerequisite: MB-107, MB-214, MB-224
MB-351C 002 Law and Ethics in the Uber Economy
If you were a passenger in a car driven by its owner but hired through Lift or Uber and you were seriously injured in an accident, who would compensate you? Is the sharing service responsible or is the poor guy trying to support his kids going to be bankrupted? Many questions of this nature are raised by these disruptive business models because they do not fit neatly into our current legal structure. This course will explore how these models rapidly developed, largely outside of existing legal and regulatory systems, and how these systems are trying to adapt and/ or make the companies do so. Likewise, is it ethical for you to rent out your apartment each weekend using Airbnb when you know that generally your tenants-who did not expect to be sharing a building with short-term renters- use your place to host parties that annoy your neighbors? We will study how the rapid growth of the "sharing economy" is causing growing pains in many sectors of the business and legal worlds and how related disruptive models-B-corporations, Kickstarter campaigns, crowdfunding, circular companies- challenge consumers and regulators to balance economic opportunities within legal and ethical constraints. This course covers the following dimensions for studying management and business in context: History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Management and Business; Media, Technology and Innovation; Government and Politics.
MB-351D 001 The Global Manager and Negotiator
An understanding of the term "global manager" can be elusive. The primary objective of this course is to expand awareness, enhance understanding and facilitate development of a set of skills that are essential for a successful career as a global manager and negotiator. Since studies show that managers spend up to 90% of their time interacting with other people, emphasis is placed on a variety of "people-intensive" competencies that are grounded in behavioral science theory and research. These competencies include cultural sensitivity and empathic capacity, adaptive ability, stress management, creative problem solving, establishing supportive communication, motivating others, managing conflict, and improving group decision making. The course also examines theories and processes of negotiation in the context of international business, with an eye to how they should be modified in the face of the many and increasingly complex forms of cross-cultural interactions today's managers encounter. Prerequisite: MB-306 or permission of the instructor
MP-179 001 World Music Ensemble: Gamelan
An introduction to traditional Indonesian music from the islands of Bali and Java. The ensemble is open to students with OR without prior Indonesian musical experience. The class will present a recital or concert at the end of the semester, and perform at several additional events as they become known. No prerequisites or prior musical training is required. (Fulfills arts requirement.)
MU-106 001 Global Pop
This survey of global pop explores musical thought and processes through an examination of the development of "world music" and "world beat," including its meaning and importance to contemporary culture as well as its history and impact. Intended to provide students with a basic understanding of the international popular music scene from its explosion at the close of the 20th century thru the present day, this course questions the meaning and importance of this trend in contemporary culture. It explores the complex relationships of music and mass media while addressing themes of nationalism, popular resistance and subversion, censorship, transnational identity, gender representation, and cultural hegemony. (Fulfills Humanities)
MU-344B 001 Divas, Death, and Desire
Many people think of opera as an elitist, extravagant, and unnatural art form, with predictable plots involving love, betrayal, and inevitably death. But the past decade has seen resurgence in the popularity and accessibility of opera, and the New York Metropolitan Opera's offering of HD simulcasts are fast becoming a mainstream cultural phenomenon. In this course we'll consider a number of operas and operatic excerpts in order to understand their significance in the time they were written, their (newly) trenchant resonance in the present day, and, more generally, opera's future place in society. Our approach will branch out from the purely musicological to the realms of performance and especially gender studies to account for opera's multivalence as an art form combining music, narrative, acting, dance, costume, set, translation, and even film.
MU-344B 003 Music of Southeast Asia
Through a survey of traditional, popular, and diasporic musical genres in Southeast Asia, the course material covers selected musical practices and types of performance drawn from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, and the Southeast Asian diaspora. From Javanese court gamelan, to Thai Luk Thung, and from Hmong hip hop in diasporic communities in the United States, to Malaysian shadow puppet theater, students will gain an understanding of the varied and diverse region that is Southeast Asia. The course is designed to acquaint students with both classical and popular musical traditions. Students will develop writing, listening, thinking, and oral skills. No formal music training is required for this course.
NS-212A 001 Neuroscience & Perception
The physical world is filled with colorful-loud-squishy-stinky-tasty things. Human sensory systems are responsible for capturing information about such stimuli and creating our perceptions of the world. This course covers a wide range of topics such as: how 3d movie technology works, the dangers of loud headphones, the root of motion sickness, and the mysteries of face blindness. Special consideration will be given to the biological underpinnings of sensory transduction. Students will be required to comprehend empirical research, compare perceptual systems, and complete a project that involves creating an illusion of their own design. Instructor: Eric Egan
NS-312A 001 Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience explores how billions of neurons (i.e. the brain and friends) create cognitive experiences (e.g. perceptions, memories, knowledge and understanding). Modern imaging, behavioral, and physiological research methods will be discussed in their relation to topics such as: the "f" in fMRI, what happens when working memory goes on vacation, do-it-yourself orbital lobotomies, how the paralyzed can walk, the secret to happiness and more. Instructor: Eric Egan
NS-312A 002 Vision
The human visual system is remarkably adept in its ability to obtain knowledge about the 3d environment. This course will provide an in-depth examination of classic and current topics in vision research including: ecological optics, the representation of 3d form, color perception, natural scene perception and the analysis of various aspects of image structure (e.g. texture, shading, motion & binocular disparity). Evaluations will be based on both in class discussion and written critiques of research literature. Instructor: Eric Egan
PA-129C 001 Stress Reduction/Wellness
Twelve-week course focused on formal and informal mindfulness methods designed to help students reduce physiological symptoms of stress. Practices include:breathing techniques, yoga-based stretches, sitting meditation, walking/moving meditation, and body scan. The course includes a required half-day Saturday retreat.
PH-101 001 Intro to Philosophy: What do we owe to One Another
By asking the question of whether or not the duties we owe to one another are particular or universal, this class will introduce students to the discipline and practice of philosophy. To animate and give substance to this practice, the class will read, discuss, and form reasoned opinions about classical and contemporary philosophical attempts to answer this question. We will pay particular attention to the issue of what obligations we have to those persons who differ in their physical or mental capacities and who may not share our cultural, ethnic, racial, class, gender, or political identifications. (Fulfills Humanities)
PH-304 001 Social-Political Philosophy
This course examines contemporary debates in Anglo-American political philosophy. Questions considered include the proper method for philosophizing about politics, the value and limits of democracy, problems of race, gender, and ethnicity in multicultural societies, and the promise of justice in the age of global capitalism.
PS-212A 001 Clinical Applications in Psychopharmacology
This course will examine the clinical use and therapeutic effects of drugs used to treat a variety of psychiatric disorders. Students will gain a basic understanding of the fundamentals of psychopharmacology (pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics). In addition, through the use of current research articles as well as case examples, students will learn the hallmark clinical and biochemical features of specific mental illnesses and the current medication strategies used to treat these disorders. Students will also examine the growing debate and concern over the appropriate use of medication for psychiatric disorder. Through this examination students will explore their own viewpoints on this topic. All major classes of psychotropic medications will be discussed including: anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and other drugs used to treat psychiatric illnesses.
PS-312A 001 Topics in Child Clinical Psychology
This course will explore the practice of clinical psychology with children and adolescents. Students will focus on etiology, assessment, analysis and intervention for emotional and behavioral disorders of childhood and adolescence with an emphasis on evidence-based treatments. Particular attention will be paid to relevant differences between children, adolescents and adults and how working with children in clinical settings differs from working with adults. Prerequisite: PS-214 or PS-308
PS-312A 002 Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
The U.S. is a culturally diverse nation, and each of us is a unique cultural being. This course intends to a) examine cultural diversity in U.S. society and b) increase self-awareness related to worldviews and beliefs about diversity issues. We will explore how culture and multiple aspects of identity are related to influence human behavior and adjustment largely within the framework of psychological theory and research. Multiple aspects of identity and the intersection of multiple identities will be examined (e.g., race, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and spiritual or religious identity). Important topics in multicultural and cross-cultural psychology will be reviewed (e.g., privilege and oppression, acculturation, models of identity development, discrimination and mental health, and social justice). Several methods of learning will be incorporated into this class, including review and presentation of empirical literature in multicultural psychology, lecture, small group discussion, self-reflection, and experiential exercises.
PS-312B 001 Psychological Trauma
Since the time of Freud, psychology has explored the connections amongst traumatic events and subsequent psychopathology. An extensive clinical and research literature has been devoted to discerning the contributions of biological, emotional, cognitive and social factors to the varied responses of those who experience trauma in their lives. This course is designed to explore the contemporary empirical and clinical literature in psychological trauma and trauma pathology. We will look at various types of trauma events that people suffer; war, rape, serious accidents, debilitating disease, childhood physical and sexual abuse, natural disasters, crime. We will explore the ways in which these events produce unique effects as well as more common stress effects. We will explore individual differences in terms of the trauma response including psychological and physiological reactivity, psychological vulnerability and the concept of resilience. We will examine buffers of the trauma response including social and family support, religious affiliation and socioeconomic status. Finally we will look at what types of treatments are effective for people suffering from trauma reactions and what the future holds in terms of new discoveries for trauma victims.
PS-312B 002 Behavioral Medicine
This course on behavioral medicine explores biopsychosocial perspectives on health and illness. There is increasing recognition in medicine that the most significant health challenges in the 21st century--cancer, cardiac disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic pain--are heavily influenced by psychological factors in respect to their etiology, presentation, maintenance and resolution.
We will be exploring the various ways in which the mind "helps" and "hurts" the body exploring the following topics: personality and health, placebo and nocebo responses, hypnosis, mindfulness, behavioral programming, family factors and disease, cognitive behavioral approaches and the role of childhood trauma in adult disease states. We will explore these and other topics using clinical and empirical sources of information.
Upon completion of the course, the student will be versed in the fundamental psychological approaches to understanding and treating medical disease states.
PS-312B 003 Applied Behavioral Analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and functional assessment theories are the hallmarks of treatments used with autistic and other developmentally disabled individuals. ABA is the use of classical behavior modification techniques to modify problem behaviors. Functional assessment is based on the theory that all behavior serves a purpose and through the understanding of the "function" of the behavior you can design more effective behavior modification techniques. This course provides an in-depth look at these practices and how they have been applied to a variety of different treatment modalities. Through the use of lecture, readings, discussions, and hands-on projects, students will gain an understanding of these various techniques and how they are utilized to modify maladaptive behavior. Prerequisite: PS-101
PS-312B 004 Cross Cultural Development
The field of developmental psychology is interested in understanding how all human children grow, learn, and develop; it achieves these goals by empirically studying children's abilities throughout the developmental timespan. A major problem is that most of the participants (96% of them, in fact) in research are WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) while only 12% of the global population are WEIRD (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). This is an especially serious problem because psychological theories and research about development often inform the dialogue surrounding worldwide debates in education, parenting, and public-health. In this course, we approach the study of child development from a cross-cultural perspective, with a special focus on clinical and medical practices, parenting/babyhood practices, notions of education/learning/work, and the development of cognitive, "moral", and social reasoning. In addition to gaining an understanding of the current state of empirical psychological research on cross-cultural development, students will gain the ability to apply insights about cross-cultural development from anthropology, sociology, and history to the study of psychology. Students will leave this class prepared to critique monocultural developmental research, study psychological phenomena from a cross-cultural perspective, and incorporate insights from cross-cultural theory to their interpretation of psychology- and education- related public policy. Prerequisite: PS-202; PS-207 or PS-305B or PS-223; or permission of the instructor
RE-330D 001 McChristianity: Globalization and Religion
This course investigates case studies from Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam that illustrate or complicate prevailing theories of globalization. With a historical focus that begins after WWII, we'll encounter diverse peoples like hugging Hindu saints in India who advocate for feminism, Congolese charismatic Christians worshipping in once empty London cathedrals, and Chicago Muslims who sell Halal meat at an eco-food cooperative. We'll discuss subjects like the emergence of various religious "markets" in Communist China, the creation of ISIS in the Middle East, and American pastors who have influenced the creation of anti-LGBT legislation in Uganda. Together we'll analyze how religions shape and have been shaped by the larger cultural, political, and economic processes of connection, coercion, and consent that scholars call globalization. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course.)
SO-251 001 Sociology of Sport
An exploration of sport as a social institution, a set of political and economic relationships, and a space for the development of identity. This course examines organized sports as a form of recreation and leisure, as popular culture, and as an industry with significant labor issues. Special attention will be given to stratification within sport along lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and disability. Key texts explore the experiences of both athletes and fans at the recreational, collegiate, and professional levels, both nationally and globally. Pre-requisite: one sociology gateway course
SO-251 002 Sociology of Sexualities
This class offers an introduction to sexualities. Particular emphasis is placed on bringing sexuality to the forefront of sociological analysis. Thus, this course provides an overview of a variety of theories of sexuality, as well as an examination of the ways in which sexuality intersects with other social identities - such as gender, race, and age – and how sexuality intersects with social institutions, such as politics, schools, the economy, and the media.
SO-251R 001 Sociology of the Media
A variety of social, political, and economic forces influence contemporary mass media. We will examine some of them and consider the changing role of the media in society as well. Students will be introduced to a range of social scientific methods that have been used to document the nature of media content and understand how it is produced. Topics will include the study of class, race, and gender inequalities in media content, the consequences of concentration in media ownership, and the dynamic relationship between producers and consumers of media. Students will undertake a significant research project. Prerequisite: one sociology gateway course.
SO-351R 001 Video Ethnography
Visual phenomena are central to everyday contemporary life, both their interpretation and their creation. We will discuss key theoretical and empirical works in visual sociology/visual studies and will familiarize ourselves with ethnographic data gathering and analysis. A major research project will have students producing a sociologically-informed work of video ethnography from start to finish, along the way becoming conversant in methodological and filmmaking best practices. Prior experience with video equipment and editing software is not a requirement. Admission to the course is by special permission only; preference will be given, in order of weighting, to (1) Sociology majors, (2) students who have completed SO 227 or AN 280, (3) social science majors, (4) others. Please e-mail Professor Scarce to be considered for admission.
SW-224 001 Gender/Sexuality in SW Practice
This course examines the role of social workers in supporting diverse gender and sexual development for everyone, including people who identify as straight and cisgender, LGBTQI, asexual, and those who do not identify with labels. Gender and sexual development across the lifespan will be examined, with particular attention to gender expression, sexual desire and behavior, and social identification. Other topics will include shame and affirmation, risk taking, HIV/AIDS and sexual health, reproductive health, anti-bullying efforts, abuse and violence prevention, anti-oppression activism, and affirming clinical practice. These themes will be explored in a variety of applied contexts, including schools and universities, the internet/mobile apps, mental health clinics, prisons, homeless shelters, and elder care facilities.
SW-224 002 History of Mental Health in the U.S.
This course examines mental health and illness—its conceptions and treatment— in the United States, from the mid-1800s to the present, focusing on four major questions: (1) How have understandings of mental health been developed and deployed by social workers and other mental health professionals, and how have those understandings varied across time and place? (2) How do understandings and treatments of mental health problems intersect with race, class, gender, and sexuality? (3) In what ways has treatment of mental health and "social deviance" operated as a form of social control? (4) How are conceptions of mental health manifested in popular culture and everyday life? Pairing primary and secondary sources, connections will be drawn among and between a wide range of movements within the American mental health system and social welfare history, including asylum creation, professionalization of social work, pathologization of racial and gender difference, the emergence of homosexuality as a clinical category, social psychiatry, humanistic psychology, psychopharmacology, and the politics of diagnosis. Students will learn to analyze a range of primary sources to inform their thinking about psychological and social services today.
TH-251B 002 Acting/Directing Epic Theater
A course for actors and directors to explore making Epic Theater according to the principles laid out by Bertolt Brecht. Includes an investigation of Brecht's political theater theories and practices as well as the application of those practices to non-Brechtian texts. Prerequisities: Intro to Acting (TH 104) and Intro to Directing (TH 140).