Timothy J. Van Compernolle (Section 01)
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of physical space and the sense of belonging we call place. The organizing principle of the course is the expanding circle; we will begin with the individual, then move to the home and family, the city, the nation, and end with the globe as a whole. We will cover a range of topics along the way, including memory, narrative, representation, nationalism, borders, exile, imperialism, and globalization. Works include Gaston Bachelard’s phenomenology of space, Benedict Anderson’s classic Imagined Communities, contemporary critical geography, the 1920s film genre of the “city symphony,” with works by Ruttmann, Vertov, and Vigo, and novels by a diverse array of nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers, including E. M. Forster, Joseph Conrad, and Tayeb Salih. We will approach this material from a liberal arts perspective, which will give students exposure to a wide variety of perspectives in the humanities and social sciences.
This is a discussion-based course designed to develop student competency in critical thinking and argumentation. Assignments include oral presentations, reading evaluations, short responses, and formal essays of varying lengths, including a research paper. Workshops by the Writing Center staff and peer reviews will help students develop their writing skills, with emphasis on crafting thesis/support essays. Trips to the library, the art museum, CCE, and other places on campus will introduce students to the wide range of resources at the College.
Fall semester. Professor Van Compernolle