Middlebury

 

Fall 2012

AMST 0260A:  American Disability Studies: History, Meanings, and Cultures
Susan Burch

In this course we will examine the history, meanings, and realities of disability in the United States. We will analyze the social, political, economic, environmental, and material factors that shape the meanings of "disability," examining changes and continuities over time. Students will draw critical attention to the connections between disability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and age in American and transnational contexts. Diverse sources, including films and television shows, music, advertising, fiction, memoirs, and material objects, encourage inter and multi-disciplinary approaches to disability. Central themes we consider include language, privilege, community, citizenship, education, medicine and technology, and representation.

FYSE: “The Muslim” — Politics and Perceptions in the West
Erik Bleich

Do Muslims pose special challenges for Western societies? Are Muslims particularly prone to violence? Are “their” values compatible with “ours?” In this course, we explore constructions of “the Muslim” in Western societies by discussing the following topics:  the history of Muslim migration to the West; portrayals of Muslims by Western writers and media; Muslims voices about their place in Western societies; the extent of anti-Muslim sentiments throughout the West; and contemporary political conflicts such as those surrounding the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, the Danish cartoon controversy, and the banning of veils in France. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

FYSE: Six Novellas
Catharine Wright

An in-between genre, the novella wanders like a novel but narrows in like a short story. This class will explore the form and meaning of six novellas by exceptional writers of modern and contemporary fiction. Texts include Toni Morrison’s Sula, Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, Tao Lin’s Shoplifting from American Apparel, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy. Students will respond both formally and informally to the literature through literary analysis and the art of narrative criticism. Discussions will include critical attention to constructions of race, gender, dis/ability, class and sexuality as well as investigate notions of home, family and spirituality.

FYSE:  Voices Along the Way
Hector Vila

This course will focus on American Culture and Philosophy. We will cover race, beginning with slavery in America.  We will also be using a controversial novel, Whitegirl, written by Middlebury alumna Kate Manning, that investigates interracial relationships.  Along with this, we'll read Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, a look at migrations in a futuristic LA.

PSYC 0224:  Psychological Disorders
Suzanne Gurland

What makes an individual “abnormal”? Under what circumstances do mental health professionals classify emotions, thoughts, or behaviors as “disordered”? In this course, we will explore these questions with attention to their historical, theoretical, ethical, and diagnostic implications. We will investigate various classes of disorders, like anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders, with a focus on their causes and treatments. Throughout, we will aim to appreciate the complexities and uncertainties surrounding diagnosis, and to recognize and challenge common assumptions about psychological disorders. In addition to lecture, the course will include discussions of current and controversial topics, and occasional demonstrations, analysis of clinical case material, and/or role plays. (PSYC 0105; open to seniors by waiver only) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.