Spring 2012

Inquiries into the Catastrophic

Listed in: Special Seminar, as COLQ-336

Moodle site: Course


Christopher T. Dole (Section 01)


Large-scale disaster has emerged as a defining feature of our times.  From New Orleans to Haiti, Chernobyl to Bhopal, we appear to live in the age of the catastrophic.  This research seminar is designed to introduce students to catastrophes and large-scale disasters as objects of scholarly inquiry.  Organized around a topic that invites inquiries of multiple forms, the course will expose students to a range of disciplinary approaches that scholars have developed in examining the complex effects of disaster on people and communities.  In the process, students will gain significant experience in developing original research.  By the end of the semester, participants will have a sense of what it means to identify researchable questions, evaluate relevant approaches to the topic, and develop a viable research design.  This course is part of a new model of tutorials at Amherst designed to enable students to engage in substantive research with faculty.  It is open to juniors interested in developing a senior thesis project.

Limited to 6 juniors.  Admission with the consent of the instructor.  Spring semester.  Professor C. Dole.

If Overenrolled: to be determined by Professor


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012