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 220

 Doing Ethnography

Jonah Rubin

 T  Th 3:10pm-4:30pm

OLIN 204





Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  This course is designed to provide an orientation for students in the methods, ethics, and concerns that guide anthropologists when we conduct our research. We do not conceive of methods as simply a means to an end, or the application of established techniques for generating answers to prior problems developed in anthropological theory. Rather, students will be encouraged to think about the types of data that various ethnographic techniques can produce, the epistemological and theoretical assumptions embedded in them, and, most importantly, the ways different strategies for data collection can be combined to form an anthropological research project. To that end, students will develop and execute a short fieldwork-based anthropological research project over the course of the semester. Readings and discussions will guide students through the process of developing research questions, choosing a field site, generating data, and re-presenting that field site in writing.   To complement the fieldwork projects, we will also read exemplary – and sometimes controversial -  texts of ethnography in practice.  Class size: 18



ART 206 ED

 Sculpture II: Air, Water, Earth

Ellen Driscoll

  W       1:30pm-4:30pm




Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  We will look at air, water, and earth as sites, subjects, and material for making sited sculptural installations. We will look at historical work on an environmental scale from ancient sites like the Nazca lines in Peru, to contemporary work like Eve Mosher’s High Water Line focused on rising sea levels.  Students will learn to create site installations responsive to both architectural scale and to the scale of nature.  Our work will include a field trip to Storm King and Opus 40, and research into local issues of air and water quality as a platform for creating exciting sculptural work that is environmentally responsive and responsible. Class size: 14



BLC 215

 Essays and Evidence

James Keller

M  W    11:50am-1:10pm

OLIN 101



This course will sharpen students’ skills in writing persuasive analytic essays. Paying particular attention to the variety of ways we use other people's voices in our own work—to support, qualify, or broaden the scope of our argument; to get at the underlying assumptions of another writer's claims; or to acknowledge and offer alternate viewpoints—we will examine and practice rhetorical devices available to us as we use textual evidence to convey complex ideas. A total of 25 pages of revised prose will be expected.  Class size: 20



EUS 102

 Introduction TO EnvironMENTAL & Urban Science

Christopher Bowser

 T  Th 6:20pm-7:40pm

HEG 308



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 predict potential outcomes of complex environmental issues. Regional examples of elemental cycling, hydrology, ecology, climate change, and food systems will be used to teach and practice concepts, including through field trips to local environmental points of interest.  This class will include some fieldwork which may require longer class meeting times on Tuesdays specifically. Class size: 22



EUS / SOC 319

EUS PRACTICUM:  Hudson Valley Cities and Environmental  (In)Justice

Peter Klein

  W       1:30pm-4:30pm *






Cross-listed: American Studies; Sociology How do urban processes of growth, decline, and revitalization affect different groups, particularly along dimensions of race, class, and gender? This place-based research seminar course looks closely at this question by examining the historical, political, and social landscape of Hudson and Kingston. We will use these nearby cities as cases to explore theories on urban transformation and the contemporary challenges that face small urban centers. In particular, the course will use the lens of environmental inequality, or the ways in which some people are more likely to be exposed to environmental hazards than others, to examine the effects of historical processes, as well as to investigate how residents and government officials are addressing pressing problems. The course will look specifically at issues of food justice, pollution, access to resources, and environmental decision-making processes. We will visit these cities as a class, and students will develop and carry out their own research project about one or both places. (Students should be moderated into their program of study; the course fulfills the practicum requirement for moderated EUS students.) Admission by permission of the instructor. Class size: 15



HIST 117

 Inclusion at Bard

Myra Armstead

 T         4:45 pm-6:05 pm

OLIN 202





Cross-listed: 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 transAtlantic 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 blacks and the experiences of alumni of color at the College, and after graduation over time.  Social profile, oral history, and mapping methodologies will be utilized. While the focus will be primarily on African Americans, we will also consider the history of similar student populations at the College. Class size: 22



HR 347

 social action: theories and practice

Paul Marienthal

     F    10:10am-12:30pm

OLIN 101





Why, at crucial moments in people’s lives, in the face of disturbance/injustice/pain does one person pick the road of maximum engagement and another picks a different, perhaps easier road? What drives human motivation?  What is collective responsibility?  Where does existential pain come from?  Is there a self apart from the social?  There are, of course, multiple forms of action, not all of them entirely visible, and we will discuss these.  There is a wide spectrum along the path of being and action.  Who are you on this spectrum?  What made you?  What drives you toward social action? How is this determined by the family you grew up in? Your culture?  If this sounds personal, it’s because it is meant to be!  This is a course about thinking and reflecting.  What does social action mean to you, and why are you involved?   We will examine many ways of looking at what makes human beings and culture: including the political, the psychological, the economic, the biological.  I am not selling one right path; I am raising questions and opening avenues of thought.  Consider this the beginning of a lifetime of insight gathering.  We are going to encounter multiple, even opposing viewpoints on what makes a human, what creates character and drive and compassion.  I only want you to be open to considering and weighing and wrestling with the often complex and contradictory ways of looking at human experience.  Please note that this is not a survey class on social movements or particular organizations.   We will not, for example be studying the history of Doctors Without Borders, the way they organize or the way they deal with hierarchy. That is a different kind of class, one that certainly could be extremely useful, but one that falls into the category of History or Organizational Development.  In this class we will be exploring the seeds and roots of human behavior – especially as that behavior manifests in social formation and socialized behaviors.  We will dig into human development, psychology, sociology, philosophy and literature that traces its roots back to the basics of human activity and motivation. In other words, this course is about what makes us tick. Bard has recently joined Mid-Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance.  Starting in January 2017 the Alliance will be sponsoring refugee families from Syria.  The class, as a class, will participate in supporting these refugee families.  This will take many forms: advocacy, childcare, ESL training, etc.  This real world work will give us an ongoing framework for evaluating theory. Admission by permission of instructor. Class size: 15



HR 355

 Scholars at Risk

Thomas Keenan

  W       10:10am-11:30am




2-credits. Scholars, students, and other researchers around the world are routinely threatened, jailed, or punished. Sometime they are simply trapped in a dangerous place, while in other cases they are deliberately targeted because of their identity or their work. Academic freedom, or freedom of thought and inquiry, is usually considered a basic human right, but its definition and content is essentially contested. This seminar will explore the idea of academic freedom by examining — and attempting to intervene in — situations where it is threatened. In conjunction with the human rights organization Scholars at Risk, we will investigate the cases of scholars currently living under threat and develop projects aimed at releasing them from detention or securing refuge for them. This will involve direct hands-on advocacy work with SAR, taking public positions and creating smart and effective advocacy campaigns for specific endangered students, teachers, and researchers. In order not to do this naively or uncritically, we will explore the history and theory of human rights advocacy on behalf of ‘prisoners of conscience,’ the genealogy of ‘academic freedom,’ and the ethics and politics of risk and rescue. This course is part of the Courage To Be College Seminar Series; students are required to attend three lectures in the in Courage to Be Lecture Series sponsored by the Hannah Arendt Center. Class size: 12



LIT 217

 LGBTQ in Rural and urban america

Natalie Prizel

 M        10:10am – 11:50am

OLIN 309



Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies;  Human Rights   2 In an article published in the New York Times shortly after the election, Columbia University professor, Mark Lilla, wrote: “In recent years. American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender, and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.” Colin Jost, of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” joked that: “The dating app Tinder announced a new feature this week, which gives users 37 different gender identity options. It’s called: Why Democrats Lost the Election.”  Since the election of Donald Trump, the media has pitted minorities against working-class whites, with particular vitriol towards to LGBTQ community. Why has this presumed divide become the scapegoat for the Democrat’s electoral loss? 2016 also saw the release of the film Loving, which demonstrates how the legal impetus to overturn anti-miscegenation laws came from the working class. This ELAS class will work to counter that perceived divide by focusing on LGBTQ populations, particularly working-class ones—white and of color—in both rural and urban America. In additional to critical academic essays, texts will include works by Justin Torres, Leslie Feinberg, Dorothy Allison, Samuel Delaney, and E. Patrick Johnson. Films will include Boys Don’t CryTongues UntiedPariah, and others. As this is an ELAS class, our work will also focus on engagement within the community. We will welcome various speakers, and, most importantly, you will each do a community-oriented project—at Bard, in the Hudson Valley, or in New York City.   Class size: 18





Meagan Mazzarino

M  W    11:50am – 1:10pm

  Mar 27th – May 22nd

HEG 300



What does it mean for a young person to be scientifically literate in the 21st century? What are the best ways to engage children in authentic scientific inquiry? What are the barriers to wider representation in the sciences, and how can early education help overcome them? These will be the fundamental questions of this engaged liberal arts course. Students will read important works on science engagement and literacy, learn to design substantive lessons for K-8 students, and teach science workshops with Bard’s partner elementary and middle schools through the Citizen Science Program. This course is open to all and is recommended for Citizen Science fellows and students interested in pursuing careers in STEM education. It will be graded pass/fail and carry two credits (non-distributional). The class meets for half of the semester,  March 27th – May 22nd. Class size: 15