Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences (ELAS) courses are designed to link coursework and critical thinking skills developed and practiced by Bard undergraduates in the classroom with civic and other forms of engagement activities that contextualize course materials and enhance learning. A significant portion of the learning takes place outside of the classroom: students learn through engagement with different geographies, organizations, and programs in the surrounding communities or in the national and international venues in which Bard is involved. ELAS courses challenge students to develop creative approaches to social, cultural and scientific issues. Students are exposed to an array of perspectives and contexts and given the opportunity to apply theory to practice.


Engaged liberal arts and sciences classes may involve a variety of activities, but emphasize reflective learning. Community engagement is not based on “service,” but on respect and reciprocity. Such an emphasis encourages open exchanges, collaboration, and the potential to produce new forms of knowledge.




ANTH 211

 ancient peoples on the bard lands: Archaeological Methods

Christopher Lindner

  W         4:40-6:00 pm

    F        1:30-4:30 pm

HEG 201

ROSE 108



Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies   Archaeologists seek to apply contextual approaches to the symbolic agency of ancient peoples. We ask how artifacts of mundane daily life and ritual materials were left in juxtaposition. At the Forest site, toward the Hudson River along an old carriage path behind Admissions, chipped stone objects afford the most conspicuous evidence of activity 5,000 years ago. Our focus, however, will be on the distribution of fragmentary ceramic vessels and whether they were made from clay found beneath a nearby waterfall. From the soil of fire pits on the adjacent promontory may emerge vestiges of plants and animals with which people interacted. Basic excavation techniques combine with microscopy and cartographic analyses to situate our discoveries in the living space. Our interpretive perspectives range in scale from miniscule wear patterns to the central Hudson Valley and beyond, to the ancient coastal Northeast. We will perform replicative experiments to make and use stone tools. Weekly writings on various studies will receive discussion in seminar. Enroll by interview with professor. Another way to prepare for this course is the Field School this summer that likely will encounter ancient artifacts through similar techniques of excavation and contextualization; for info, go to http://www.bard.edu/archaeology.  Class size: 12



ANTH 351

 The Interview

John Ryle

 T           1:30-3:50 pm

OLIN 303



Cross-listed:  American Studies, Film and Electronic Arts; Human Rights; Written Arts  The interview—a structured conversation—is central to the practice of a wide range of disciplines and genres. These include ethnographic field work, oral history, human rights research, investigative journalism, creative non-fiction and documentary film. Interview-based research also forms a basis for the understanding of culture, for the construction of complex narratives, and for specialist forms such as life histories, testimonies and confessions. This class will combine critical analysis of interview-based writing—and audio and video recording—with the development of technical interviewing skills. Classwork will include field exercises in recording, transcription and editing, and the production of long-form, focused interviews to publishable standards. It will consider ethical and theoretical issues, the transition from speech to writing, and the enduring authority of the human voice.  Class size: 15



ART 100

 Digital I: Digital to Physical

Maggie Hazen

 M          1:30- 4:30 pm




4 credits  This course will provide an introductory approach to digital sculpture for visual artists. We will cover basic software and digital equipment by designing a series of versatile, studio driven images and sculptures on each piece of equipment in the Studio Arts digital lab and woodshop—taking the work from physical to digital and back again. Students will learn basic Adobe Creative Suite programs: Photoshop and Illustrator, along with open source 3D modelling software. Projects designed with these software programs will manifest physically through the use of industry standard equipment such as laser cutting, 3D printing, 3D scanning, digital printing and CNC available in our digital lab. Today, digital machines do not simply produce images and information; they produce subjects and govern ways of existing. No prior digital knowledge is necessary. Open only to Art Majors. Class size: 14



BGIA 301


James Ketterer







Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies Non-state actors have gained increasing importance in international affairs, and the expanded role of cities is often overlooked.  Particularly in the post-9/11 era, cities are directly managing a wide variety of international issues and are hubs for the international movement of people, money and ideas. New York City is the ideal case study: city police are deployed overseas to monitor terrorist networks, financial institutions manage the global flow of trillions of dollars, the UN is the headquarters of international diplomacy, the city hosts a diverse mix of NGOs and major media, and New York is the destination for immigrants arriving from all corners of the world. This course explores the theoretical debates and practical policy effects of cities as non-state actors in international affairs. How should we define non-state actors? Where do cities fit in those debates? What strategies do different non-state actors use to influence national and global policy-making, with a particular focus on cities?  In addition, the course contextualizes students’ internship experiences within this broader discussion to critically examine how ideas about the role of non-state actors in world politics play out in practice. We will take advantage of our New York City location with guest speakers from a wide spectrum of organizations within the field, such as the United Nations, US State Department, New York Police Department, the Federal Reserve, Human Rights Watch, New York State Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations, World Policy Institute, Open Society Foundation, and many others. Class size: 25



BIO 157

 Food Microbiology

Gabriel Perron

 T  Th    1:30-4:30 pm

RKC 111 / 112



In this course designed for intended biology majors, we will study the microorganisms that inhabit, create, or contaminate food. The first half of the course will introduce students to topics in food safety such as food spoilage, foodborne infections, and antibiotic resistance. In the second half of the course, students will learn how to harness the capabilities of the many microbes present in our environment to turn rotting vegetables or spoiling milk into delicious food. Students will also learn how next-generation technologies are revealing the important ecological dynamics shaping microbial communities in transforming food with possible beneficial effects on human health. Throughout the course, students will learn how to design, conduct, and analyze simple experiments while working with microbiology techniques, including DNA sequencing. No prerequisite. Class size: 18



BIO 433

 AdvAncEd Community Ecology:   DIVERSITY

Cathy Collins

   Th       1:30-3:50 pm

RKC 200



Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  Biodiversity is a term used widely in science the media. But what is biodiversity, really? In this 4-credit course, we will rely on student-led discussions of the primary literature to explore definitions and metrics of diversity, focusing on leading theories that guide our current understanding for the mechanisms that maintain diversity. We will also explore whether biodiversity is beneficial to society; for example, by characterizing the relationship of biodiversity to ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to learning the computational tools for quantifying and comparing diversity across systems and spatial scales. Students will apply the concepts and analytical skills learned in the first part of the semester to a class-wide project. Writing assignments include a literature review, a project pospectus, and a piece that distills scientific information into a format for the general public. Class size: 12



EUS 102

 Intro TO EnvironMENTAL SYSTEM Science

Robyn Smyth

 T           1:30-4:30 pm

F            1:30-4:30 pm

RKC 101

RKC 112



This course offers an integrated exploration of the science underlying environmental issues. The primary objective is to provide students with a systems-oriented understanding of biological, chemical, physical, and geological processes that affect earth, air, water, and life. Students will gain a solid understanding of the fundamental scientific principles governing environmental systems including the cycling of matter and the flow of energy. By practicing the application of these scientific concepts, students will develop their ability to think critically about the potential outcomes of complex environmental issues. Local and global examples of elemental cycling, hydrology, ecology, agriculture, urbanization, and climate change will be used. This class will include some local field trips and outdoor data collection which may require longer class meeting times on Tuesdays specifically.  Class size: 20



EUS 222


Elias Dueker


 T  Th    10:10-11:30 am

M           1:30-4:30 pm

HEG 106

RKC 112



Cross-listed: Biology This course offers a detailed exploration of the earth’s atmosphere and its interactions with the biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere with a strong emphasis on climate change. Topics will include origins of the atmosphere, origins of life, anthropogenic influences on the atmosphere, and connections and exchanges with the hydrologic cycle. We will further explore pressing global environmental issues associated with the atmosphere: climate change (extreme weather events, shifting precipitation patterns), air pollution, acid rain and recovery, and depletion of the ozone layer. Lab work will be guided by scientific questions related to these issues, and will focus on detection of anthropogenic influence on air quality.  Specifically, students will manipulate models to conduct field sampling, and utilize microbiological and chemical assays in the lab to better understand sources for and tracking of contaminants in air and the implications for people.  Class size: 20



EUS 305


Mike Aziz

    F        10:10-12:30 pm

HEG 308



Cross-listed: American Studies   This course uses Bard’s campus as a laboratory for learning integrated planning. Through a series of lectures, readings and campus tours, students will learn systems analysis, storytelling techniques and visualization skills. Students will also work collaboratively to develop and present architectural and landscape projects for Bard’s campus. The semester begins with explorative tours of the campus, observing the unique role of food, housing, landscape, and circulation systems. Students will become familiar with storytelling and introductory tools to present their findings and case studies. During the second half of the semester, students will work in small teams to develop a campus improvement that addresses the previously analyzed campus systems. By utilizing a process of iterative thinking, students will learn how to formulate, select and refine solutions. The semester culminates with student-devised projects that tackle, communicate and visualize these concepts. This course does not require any prior landscape design or architectural skills. Open to moderated Upper College students."  Class size: 15



HIST 117

 Inclusion at Bard

Myra Armstead

 T           3:10-4:30 pm

HEG 201





2 credits Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies  (2 credits)  The nation's colleges and universities have clearly served as stepping stones, remediating against racial inequalities by providing pathways toward upward mobility for blacks and other minorities. At the same time, historian Craig Wilder's EBONY AND IVY (2013), linking elite American institutions to slavery, Brown University's disclosures of the fortune made in the trans-Atlantic slave trade by its founders, and the recent acknowledgement by Georgetown University of its sale of slaves to pay off antebellum debts are just a few examples of the ways in which the role played by institutions of higher learning in reproducing racial and other social hierarchies in the United States has been proven. How have these contradictory dynamics manifested themselves at Bard College? In this Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences (ELAS) course, we will explore this question by reviewing the College's evolving admissions policies toward historically underrepresented students and learning the experiences of alumni of color at the College. Social profile, oral history, and mapping methodologies have been utilized in past versions of this course. This time, these will be expanded to include investigations into the business relations of key College founders.  Class size: 22



HIST 230


Dadvid Woolner

  F       10:10am-12:30 pm

RKC 101



Cross-listed: Global & International Studies  For most Americans, the most controversial—and famous—summit meeting of the Second World War remains the Yalta Conference, where in the minds of many conservative critics, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt essentially handed over control of Poland and much of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.  What is often overlooked, however, is that most of the agreements and understandings achieved at Yalta were first discussed over a year earlier at the Tehran Conference. Viewed from this perspective the Yalta Conference represents the moment at which “the Big Three” put the finishing touches on what was already agreed at the Tehran gathering. In light of this, most historians agree that understanding the Tehran Conference—code-named Eureka—represents a far more important exercise than studying what took place at “Eureka II,” the initial code-name for the Yalta Summit. The aim of this  course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the importance of the Tehran Conference and US-Russian relations in the latter stages of the Second World War. Students will use archival material available through the FDR Presidential Library to gain a more nuanced understanding of what took place at the Tehran Conference and how these negotiations affected the future of US-Russian relations, not only during the war, but after.  Students will also be encouraged to look for “key documents,” images and materials that may be used in an exhibit exploring the Tehran Conference and its influence on Yalta that will take place at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Petersburg Russia towards the end of term. ** Four of the Fridays will involve 5 hour visits to the FDR Library in Hyde Park. Transportation will be provided. The dates are Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Class size: 18



IDEA 125

 Getting Schooled in America

Derek Furr

Erica Kaufman

 T  Th    4:40 pm-7:00 pm

OLIN 204





Cross-listed: American Studies  6 credits  Urban Dictionary defines “getting schooled” as  “losing a contest/game/battle/argument in a humiliating fashion while the other person shows you how it is done.” Despite its playfulness, this definition gestures towards the negative associations the term “schooling” often provokes. But as John Dewey wrote, “education is not preparation for life but is life itself,” and in the 20th and 21st centuries in the U.S., schooling has shaped how we live.  This course begins with the premise that “getting schooled in America” is a topic of inquiry that is naturally interdisciplinary—encompassing learning theory, educational research, studies of cognition, ethnographies, and literary studies. We will read widely and variously in order to interrogate the concept and institution of “school” and, as informed citizens, place our personal experiences of schooling in the balance with an understanding of the politics, philosophy, and social science of education. We will also look critically at the story of getting schooled in America as a contested narrative, shaped by such questions as

·         What is the relationship between “school” and “education”? How has my schooling shaped me and my education?

·         How is schooling influenced by place, politics, and personal identity? How, in turn, does schooling influence those things?

·         What is wrong with school in America? What is right about it?

·         As an engaged citizen, how can I affect education and schooling in the US?


Film screenings and guest lectures will complement close readings of texts such as memoirs by Harriet Jacobs, Zitkala-Sa, Henry Adams, Richard Wright, Richard Rodriguez, and Adrienne Rich; poetry and fiction by Audre Lorde and James Baldwin; educational theory and history from Lisa Delpit, Patricia Graham, Deborah Meier, Diane Ravitch, Bob Moses, and ED Hirsch; educational philosophy by John Dewey, Noam Chomsky; policy documents from the Standards movement; and recent research in schooling and cognition by Daniel Willingham. As a final project, students will develop an ethnographic case study of someone’s experience of school.  Class size: 30



LIT 131


Deirdre d’Albertis

Camilia Jones

 F     10:00 am–12:00 pm




2 credits It is 2018. Why aren't there more women in leadership positions? According to a 2014 Pew Research Center report, the majority of American men and women acknowledge the capacity of women to lead. Yet in certain domains--most notably politics and business--women continue to be under-represented at the top.  Recent elections have galvanized the electorate around constructions of gender in particularly dramatic ways.  If we are living in a post-feminist society (as some claim), why do these questions and conflicts continue to arise? Identity is an urgent conversation in 21st-century politics and everyday life, and this includes awareness of how intersectionality shapes gendered experiences. What are the stories that we tell ourselves and each other about equality, representation, privilege, freedom, authority, and success? How do these inflect real-world outcomes for individuals and societies?  In this two-credit course we will explore some of the stories that circulate in our culture around women and power, both from an academic and from a practical, real-world perspective. What does it mean to lead? How do we use a language of empowerment? Why has the United States embraced certain narratives of gender equity and success as opposed to those being created in other countries and cultures? We will focus on learning from women who are committed to making a difference in the world through their personal and professional choices, hearing their stories, and reading texts that have been particularly important to them in their lives and work. So too, we will engage with stories from the past (archival research),  from across disciplines (the military, higher education, STEM, the arts, tech, media) and from a wide range of perspectives.  As an Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences course, this seminar will provide students with the unique opportunity to bring theory and practice together in a very immediate sense: by the end of the term you will have identified a story only you can tell, whether it is based in political activism, community engagement, or work experience. Drawing on the rich resources here in Annandale as well as through Bard's other campuses (Simon's Rock, Holyoke Microcollege) we will reach out to groups and organizations with a shared focus on gender. Network building is something we will explicitly address and we will convene for a Summit late in the semester.  This course is open to all first-year students. Upper College students may also participate if selected to serve as course fellows.  Class size: 20



PS 209

 Civic Engagement

Jonathan Becker

Erin Cannan

 T           4:40-7:00 pm **

   Th       4:40-6:00 pm **

See note below description.

Barringer House 104



Cross-listed: American Studies  This course will explore historical, philosophical and practical elements of civic engagement while exploring the    underlying question of what it means to be an engaged citizen in the early XXIst century. It will examine notions of personal responsibility, civic duty, political participation (including voting), and social justice. It will explore modes of community engagement on a number of levels, including governmental (especially local government), not-for- profits, and various forms of associational life. The course will have a local focus, but national and international issues and comparisons will be explored. This is an engaged liberal arts and sciences class, that will require out of class fieldwork and civic engagement projects that will contextualize their in-class study.

*** Tuesdays 4:40-7:00 and some Thursdays 4:40-6:00, during which students will meet political candidates together with students from PS 265: Campaign 2018. In addition, the class will attend some public meetings of local governing bodies and organizations, the times of which will be announced at the beginning of term.  Class size: 22



PS 265

 Campaign: 2018

Simon Gilhooley

M  W      1:30-2:50 pm

(***Th  4:40 pm – 7:00 pm, see note below)

OLIN 301



Cross-listed: American Studies  This course is on the manner in which modern American political campaigns are conducted. It will seek to integrate actual experience of campaigns within a broad study of scholarly discussions of the nature of democracy and the mechanisms of modern campaigns. Topics to be explored will include the role of campaign finance, the idea of “the permanent campaign,” the invisible primary, the role of media in campaigns, and the potential for activist organization within the modern political system.  Alongside and integrated into the discussions of scholarly materials will be active engagement in the 2018 electoral cycle which will reach its peak in the Fall.            Students will be required to meet on some Thursdays 4:40-7:00, during which students will meet political candidates together with students from PS 209,  Civic Engagement.  The schedule will be announced at the beginning of term. Class size: 22



SST 145

 Pedagogy & Practice

Carol Murray

 T           6:30-7:45 pm

       F     9:00-12:30 pm

Bard Nursery School



2 credits  This course is designed for students curious about early education as the foundation for lifelong learning.  Within each module, we will explore principles of child development and examine what progressive education looks like for our youngest citizens at Bard. On Friday mornings, students will be integrated into an early education settings where they will observe and engage with children ages 3-5.  The last 30 minutes of practicum will be reserved for reflective writing together.  Readings on Tuesday evenings will integrate themes of constructivism with the view of child as citizen, researcher, and meaning maker. Guided discussion will provide opportunity to consider the historical and current views of child growth and care in our country and how it influences and shapes our view of childhood, early learning, parenting and family life in our society.  Modules will be organized around these topics: Pedagogy of Play; Pedagogy of Care; Pedagogy of Listening; Pedagogy of Reflection and Thinking.    Class size: 6