Curator of Special Collections & Archives
Curator of Special Collections & College Archives Andrew Wentink is a graduate of Middlebury College in History/English. He attended the Bread Loaf School of English and Columbia University, where he received his MLS and was Manuscript Archivist at the Dance Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center for seven years. He is a writer, editor, dance and film historian and has written and produced documentaries on historical themes, including several on dance subjects, for public television. He has taught a number of dance history courses for J-Term, and currently teaches Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and the Creation of Modern Culture ; From George Washington to John Travolta : Social Dance in American Popular Culture; Hollywood Unbound : the pre-Code Era, 1930-34 ; and Innocents Abroad: American Travel Writing, 1818-1918. He co-chairs the LIS Humanities Division Faculty Advisory Group with Professor Holly Allen and serves as Library liaison to American Studies, English & American Literatures, Film & Media Culture, US History, History of Art & Architecture, Religion, Classics.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
AMST 1006 - American Travel Writing
Innocents Abroad: American Travel Writing, 1818-1918
In this course we will examine 100 years of travel writing of Americans abroad through selected published works and unpublished primary source materials. Selected readings from Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, the most popular travel book of the 19th century, will initiate our discussion of essential aspects of travel writing genres including tourist (the Grand Tour) vs. traveler, diplomatic envoys, exploration and scientific expeditions, missionary journals, maritime voyages and shipwrecks, and letters and journals of American soldiers in foreign combat. These works will serve to illuminate cultural constructs including colonialism, nationalism, racism, eroticism, and gender formation. (Approval required)
DANC 0283 / WAGS 0283 / AMST 0283 - Social Dance & Popular Culture
From George Washington to John Travolta: Social Dance in Popular Culture
In this course we will examine religion, gender, morality, etiquette, politics, and other cultural and societal issues in American history as they intersect in the public sphere through the activity of social dance. Coursework will involve the investigation of primary source materials including contemporary letters and diaries, dance manuals, newspaper and journal reports, and accounts of social dance in American literature. Students will read texts on dance and cultural history, view images of dance in American art and popular film, and listen to four centuries of American dance music. 3 hrs. lect./2 hrs. screening
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013
FMMC 0305 / AMST 0305 - Hollywood Unbound Pre-Code
Hollywood Unbound: The Pre-Code Era, 1930-34
Film historian Thomas Doherty has characterized the films produced in the early "talkie" years, 1930-34, as "the raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled." In this course we will explore the cinematic product of that era, by viewing representative films about gender identity and sexual freedom, equality, and "inversion," political corruption, vice, crime, violence, racial and religious transgressions, and how those films reflect the social and cultural realities of Depression America. An understanding of how this period of creative innovation enhanced by sound aroused social and religious indignation leading to Joseph Breen's 1934 enforcement of the Production Code will emerge from our study.
RUSS 0241 / DANC 0241 - Russ Ballet &Creation Mod Cult
Russian Ballet and the Creation of Modern Culture (in English)
An exploration of the phenomenon of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes which, between 1909 and 1929, exerted a pervasive influence over the creation of modern culture in the Western world. We will investigate the methods employed by Diaghilev to bring together innovative choreographers, composers, artists, and writers (Fokine, Nijinsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Satie, Picasso, Cocteau, etc.) to create collaborative works of art that defined modernism, and the historical context within which these works were created. Readings, music, art, film/video and other sources, will shed light on the relationship between modernism and World War I, "Russianness," commercialism, neo-classicism, commedia dell'arte, gender, and the "homosexual aesthetic". No knowledge of ballet or Russian is required. 3 hrs. lect./disc., screening
Publications & Presentations
Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball & American Culture, June 2009