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College Catalogue

College Courses and Seminars

College Courses are interdisciplinary or substantially outside the continuing curriculum of any department or program, and are normally team-taught or taught within an integrated cluster of related courses. College Courses provide opportunities for students to present their work to a larger audience during the semester.

[115F] The Voyage of Life.
Examines questions of life and death from antiquity to the early modern period, focusing on the notions of heroism, civic duty, family relations, suicide, the soul, creation, wandering, the sacred, faith, love, utopia, evil, public opinion, solitude, ecstasy and virtue, among others. Readings include Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Plato's Apology and Phaedo, the Bible (Genesis, Exodus and the Gospel of Luke), Voltaire's Candide and Rousseau's Reveries of the Solitary Walker. Short papers and oral presentations on a regular basis. (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Maximum enrollment, 16.

[130] Coming of Age in America: Narratives of Difference.
An interdisciplinary analysis of what it means to come of age as an “American.” Particular attention paid to factors of culture, race, class, gender, disability and sexual orientation. Perspectives from the social sciences combined with fictional and autobiographical coming-of-age narratives. (Writing-intensive.) (Proseminar.) Open to first-year students only. Group attendance at lectures, films and campus events required. Maximum enrollment, 16.

[202S] Infinity and Then Some.
Infinity and related mathematical concepts not only play a role in science and mathematics, but also serve as both thematic concerns and organizing principles for works of art, including literature, music, painting and film. Explores the interactions between mathematics and the arts, with special attention to issues of consciousness. Included will be works by such writers as Gödel, Rucker, Hofstadter, Borges, Gombrowicz and Robbe-Grillet; music by Bach, Berg, Xenakis and Cage; paintings by Escher; and a variety of films. Prerequisite, one course in calculus, Math 123, Math 224, Symbolic Logic or Computer Science 210; one course in literature or music; or consent of instructors. Maximum enrollment, 24.

210F Leadership: Theories and Practices.
This course offers an introduction to the basic theories, concepts, methods, and practices of leadership in all types of organizational cultures and settings. Review and critical evaluation of classical and emerging theories of leadership is offered. Emphasis is placed on the impact and influence of power, ethics, public discourses, and technology on 21st century leadership strategies and practices. (Oral Presentations.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Susan Mason.

[218S] Space: Its Light, Its Shape.
Mobius strips and Klein bottles are examples of unusual mathematical spaces that differ significantly from the world as we experience it. Mathematicians study these spaces for their abstract beauty alone. However, such spaces may be accurate models for our own universe. Current observations of the Big Bang's echo — the cosmic microwave background — offer ways to test models of our universe. Explores possible abstract spaces from a mathematical perspective and delves into the physics of both the cosmic microwave background and cosmological models. Prerequisite, one year of high school calculus or one semester of college calculus. Maximum enrollment, 24.

220F,S Forever Wild: The Cultural and Natural Histories of the Adirondack Park.
Study of America's largest inhabited wilderness. Survey of natural and cultural histories of the park and examination of ecological, political and social issues. Study of literary, scientific, historical and political texts. Exploration of environmental issues such as acid rain, development and land-use, predator re-introduction and population controls. Prerequisite, one course in literature, biology, geology or environmental studies. May count toward a concentration in environmental studies. Field trip required. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in the fall. Oral Presentations (Fall-2 sections); Writing-intensive (Spring). (Same as Environmental Studies 220.) Maximum enrollment, 14. O Oerlemans and J Schwartz.

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223S Gender and Violence in the Middle Ages.
An introduction to the field of medieval and renaissance studies. Drawing on multiple disciplinary perspectives, including those of literature, law, history and art, examines the intersection of ideas about the body, gender and violence in the European Middle Ages. Readings may include the Bible and early patristic writings; the lives of saints; poems and advice manuals on courtly love; depictions of women in the Crusades; Icelandic sagas; and perspectives on the trial of Joan of Arc. Prerequisite, one 100-level course in literature or history, or AP 4 or 5 in English or History. Maximum enrollment, 24. Eldevik and Terrell.

[224S] Art and Physics of the Image.
Why and how do artists and scientists make images? Explores the science and art of photographic image-making. Topics include the physics of light, laws of electromagnetism, geometric and physical optics, quantization, the camera apparatus, fundamentals of black-and-white film processing and experimental image making. Significant experimental work in the laboratory and studio. Workshop setting. Studio projects will include holography and digital photography as well as conventional darkroom processing. Prerequisite, one course in physics, chemistry or studio art. Maximum enrollment, 24.

[225S] Nature, Art or Mathematics?.
How do humans perceive or impose patterns onto the natural world and onto their lives? Can the world be described by numbers? An examination of chaos theory, Romanticism, fractal geometry, landscape architecture, the action of bodies in heat and the waltz in relation to Tom Stoppards’ play Arcadia. Prerequisite, one course in literature, mathematics or theatre. Maximum enrollment, 24.

[229F] The American Founding: Ideals and Reality.
An intensive analysis of the philosophical ideals of the Founding Era (1763-1800) and their uneven realization. Social histories of various races, genders and classes will help illuminate the inherent ambiguities, weaknesses, strengths and legacies of the social and political philosophies of late 18th-century America. Prerequisite, Government 117, Philosophy 117 or a 100-level course in history. May count toward a concentration in either history or government. Not open to students who have taken History 240 or 374. (Same as History 229 and Government 229.) Maximum enrollment, 24.

235F,S Food for Thought: The Science, Culture and Politics of Food.
An interdisciplinary exploration of food. Topics include: why we eat what we eat; where our dinner comes from; the politics of food; the cultural history of foodways; early 19th-century New York State agriculture; diet fads; food and disease; the locavore and Slow Food movements. One weekly session is dedicated to The 1812 Garden, food workshops and films. Maximum enrollment, 12. Sciacca (Fall); Gapp (Spring).

[245S] The Borderlands.
An overview of the complex cultural, historical, political and economic issues about the United States/Mexico border taught by professors from Africana studies, comparative literature, economics, government, history, sociology and women’s studies. Multidisciplinary, theoretical and practical readings. The seminar is inspired and informed by a recent student trip to Arizona to provide humanitarian aid with No More Deaths. Prerequisite, one course in any department listed above. Maximum enrollment, 16.

[258S] Opera.
Study of literary and musical dimensions of operas by major composers from Monteverdi and Mozart to the present. Emphasis on the transformation of independent texts into librettos and the effects of music as it reflects language and dramatic action. Includes such works as Orfeo, The Marriage of Figaro, Otello, The Turn of the Screw and Candide. Prerequisite, two courses in literature or two in music or one in each field, or consent of instructors. Maximum enrollment, 12.

[280S] The Historical and Intellectual Foundations of Property and Its Relationship to Freedom in Modern States.
No society in history has existed without the concept of property. But how the world’s peoples have defined property has varied widely in time and place. Examines cross culturally the history of property as both an idea and an institution, with emphasis on the development in the Western tradition of private property and its historical connection with slavery, freedom, economic growth and the rise of modern states. Examination of how the particular definition of property rights adopted by a society affects the kinds of markets that emerge. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Maximum enrollment, 24.

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[290S] Seminar in Classics and Government: Cicero, Hamilton and Jefferson.
A study of the career of Cicero, the Roman lawyer and politician, and of the debates between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, with special attention to Greek and Roman influences on the founders of the United States. Intensive discussion of readings from Thucydides, Plato, Cicero, Plutarch and the writings of Hamilton and Jefferson. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in classics (classical studies, Latin or Greek) or government, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 24.

[322] Cultural Simulation Seminar.
Construction of a “working model” of a mission to establish a “settlement” in Near Space, recording the process, then producing finished documentation and a major summary paper for dissemination. Prerequisite, consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.

[350Su] Ethnography of Leadership in Organizations.
Study and investigation of organizational leadership theories and practices from a liberal education standpoint. Specific attention to how organizational culture, ethics, and communications systems impact leadership practices and decision-making processes. Review of contemporary leadership models that address diversity, globalization, transformational change, and uses of power. Systematic observation within a specific organizational setting to document leadership theory in practice. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Minimum overall GPA of 2.5. Summer Seminar; Oral Presentations; Field Placement; Open to rising juniors and seniors. Maximum enrollment, 12.

370F Wilderness, Culture, Science: Reading the Adirondacks (Intensive Seminar, Adirondack Program).
The place we know as the "Adirondacks" is produced by a process of reading and inscribing across multiple disciplines, perspectives, and eras. Legal, political, literary, and scientific texts—from the 19th Century to the present—all help to define, frame, and regulate our understandings and use of this vast local wilderness. Students will examine such texts in situ for their ability to deepen and complicate our sense of wilderness and place. Students will also produce their own critical and creative writing to explore how their visions can transform the landscape of this complex resource. This credit is discipline-specific in its credit bearing designation, in accordance with the Faculty-in-Residence’s home department or program or by permission from the student’s major/minor department or program. Maximum enrollment, 20. Onno Oerlemans.

371F Stewardship and Sustainability in the Adirondack Park (Common Experience Seminar, Adirondack Program).
This Common Experience Seminar is an interdisciplinary course taught jointly by several faculty members and guest speakers in consultation with the Faculty-in-Residence and General Director, and is designated as a College Course. This course focuses on a particular shared topic or issue over a three-to five-year span (e.g. “stewardship and sustainability”), in order to introduce students to the diverse and intersecting issues at play in the Adirondacks through expert voices from around the Park and to showcase how the research and interests of current Hamilton faculty speak to, reflect and inform these issues. Does not count toward Concentration. Maximum enrollment, 20. TBA.

372F Field Component, Adirondack Program.
The field component allows for practical applications of the theories and methodological approaches that students will be studying in their two seminars during the Adirondack semester. Structured readings will accompany the field work/research, and a final project and/or presentation will be required for completion of this credit. Does not count toward Concentration. Maximum enrollment, 20. Janelle A Schwartz, in consulation with a variety of organizations within the Adirondack Park.

373F Independent Capstone Project, Adirondack Program.
The independent capstone project is a culminating project to be determined by individual students, or students working in small groups, in consultation with the Faculty-in-Residence and General Director. The capstone project will demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired during the students’ semester study in the Adirondack Park within a framework of real world perspectives and possible career paths. This credit will require a cumulative project and/or presentation for completion. This credit is discipline-specific in its credit bearing designation, in accordance with the Faculty-in-Residence’s home department or program or by permission from the student’s major/minor department or program. Maximum enrollment, 20. Faculty-in-Residence and Janelle A Schwartz.

[377F] Electronic Arts Workshop.
Emphasis on collaborative work among computer musicians, digital photographers and videographers in the creation of visual/musical works. Other projects will include transmedia installations or performance art pieces. Prerequisite, Art 302 with consent of instructors, Art 313 or Music 277. (Same as Art 377 and Music 377.) Maximum enrollment, 8.

395F,S Hamilton in New York City: Special Topic.
Topic changes each term to reflect the discipline of the director of the Program in New York City. For a more specific description, see www.hamilton.edu/academics/programs_abroad/nyc/. May count toward the concentration in the department or program of the director. Open only to program participants. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Faculty.

396F,S Hamilton in New York City: Independent Research.
An independent study supervised by the director of the Program in New York City and based on an internship and additional research. For a more specific description, see www.hamilton.edu/academics/programs_abroad/nyc/. May count toward the concentration in the department or program of the director. Open only to program participants. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Faculty.

397F,S Hamilton in New York City: Internship.
Internship with firm, organization, agency or advocacy group appropriate to the theme of the semester. For more information, see www.hamilton.edu/academics/programs_abroad/nyc/. Does not count toward concentration credit. Open only to program participants. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Faculty.

398F,S Hamilton In New York City: Seminar in Global Processes.
Foundational course of the Program in New York City. Perspectives on the influence of global markets, transnational culture and political forces on contemporary life. Organized around readings, student debates, guest discussion leaders and field trips within New York City.For more information, see www.hamilton.edu/academics/programs_abroad/nyc/. Does not count toward concentration credit. Open only to program participants. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Faculty.

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