Note: this is page provides preliminary information about AY22-23 courses. Final course descriptions, including additional cbl courses, will be published shortly before the start of each semester.

Fall 2022

ENST-301/GEOL-301 Hydrogeology

As the global human population expands in a future marked by climate change, the search for and preservation of our most vital resource, water, will demand thoughtful policy and greater scientific understanding. This course is an introduction to surface and groundwater hydrology, geochemistry, and management for natural systems and human needs. Lectures will focus on understanding the hydrologic cycle, how water flows over and within the earth, and the many ways in which this water is threatened by contamination and overuse. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab each week. The laboratory will be centered around on-going local issues concerning use and restoration of the Fort River watershed.

Prerequisite: GEOL 109 or 111 or consent of the instructor. Professor Martini.

SPAN-495 Senior Seminar

The senior seminar is offered every fall semester and fulfills the capstone requirement. It is designed for Spanish majors to reflect, integrate, and apply what they have learned and accomplished in the major. At the beginning of the semester, students will prepare a portfolio of work created throughout the major, including during their study abroad experience, to share and discuss with classmates. The rest of the semester will be devoted to individual or collaborative projects. Projects can take a variety of forms, including but not limited to a performance, a service learning project, an internship, a thesis, or an exhibit. Students writing a thesis may designate their thesis as their individual project. In all cases, students will report on their projects in writing as well as in person with classmates and in a public forum. Conducted in Spanish.

Open only to senior majors. Professor Brenneis.

Spring 2023

AMST-120/EDST-120/ENGL-120 Reading, Writing, Teaching

This course considers from many perspectives what it means to read and write and learn and teach both for ourselves and for others. As part of the work of this course, in addition to the usual class hours, students will serve as weekly tutors and classroom assistants in adult basic education centers in nearby towns. Thus this course consciously engages with the obstacles to and the power of education through course readings, through self-reflexive writing about our own varied educational experiences, and through weekly work in the community. Although this course presses participants to reflect a great deal about teaching, this course does not teach how to teach. Instead it offers an exploration of the contexts and processes of education, and of the politics and desires that suffuse learning. Course readings range across literary genres including essays, poems, autobiographies, and novels in which education and teaching figure centrally, as well as readings in ethnography, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. The writing assignments cross many genres as well.

Limited to 18 students. Professor Christoff.

AMST-328/EDST-328/HIST-328 Indigenous Narratives: Creating Children's Stories about Native American History

Children’s literature has a diversity problem. A 2018 study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that of more than 3000 children’s books published that year, roughly 50% featured main characters who were White. Only 10% featured Black characters, 7% featured Asian / Pacific Islander characters, and 5% featured Latinx characters. (27% of the books surveyed featured animal characters.) By far the least represented group in children’s literature were Native Americans, who appeared in fewer than 1% of the books surveyed.

This course explores the ethics and impact of inclusive representation in children’s media. It focuses on the challenge of teaching young people under-represented histories, particularly when those histories engage with raw, difficult, and often still painful subjects. How can we tell historically accurate stories to children without whitewashing or sugarcoating the past? Why is the drive to make children’s media more inclusive critically important?  

 A major component of this course involves experiential learning. Working together in small groups, and with guidance from experts in children’s publishing (editors, authors, illustrators, librarians), students will research, write, and publish a book for children on a topic related to Native American history. Readings will combine scholarship about children’s literature and publishing, the importance of historical representation and storytelling, and Native American history. Students will engage directly with the local community through focus groups, discussions with Native American knowledge keepers and cultural consultants, as well as visits to local libraries and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This course is open to all and no prior experience is necessary, however students must be willing to work collaboratively, and will be required to attend one out-of-class field trip.  

Limited to 30 students.  Spring semester.  Professors Boucher and Vigil.

LLAS-349/SPAN-349 Latinx and Puerto Rican Diasporic Cultures in Holyoke

This course will focus on Holyoke, MA as a case study of Latinx Studies and Puerto Rican Studies. Much of our work in the course will focus on Puerto Rico, but we will also familiarize ourselves with foundational work in the general field of Latinx Studies, taking care to place different migrant communities, cultures, and histories in conversation with one another. Students will also engage in collaborative learning projects with partners in the city of Holyoke and neighboring towns with substantial Latinx populations. The course will include students from Amherst College and Holyoke Community College. Class will be conducted in Spanish, but English may be used depending on work with community partners.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.