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Generally speaking each course at Marlboro College requires a minimum number of contact hours with teaching faculty based on the credits to be earned. Usually 50 minutes or more of weekly contact time per credit earned is required. Contact time is provided through formal in-class instruction as well as other instructional activities facilitated by the teaching faculty member.
Book lists for courses are posted on the course list prior to the first week of each semester, when course registration takes place, in fulfillment of the provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008. Lists are subject to change at any time. Books required for courses at Marlboro are available at the College Bookstore.
This course traces the history of family life in the U.S. from the time of European settlement to the end of the nineteenth century. Drawing on an interdisciplinary array of sources from popular literature to material culture, we will explore how the family both affected and was affected by the major historical developments of these centuries. Our study will include Anglo-American nuclear families as well as families and groups which did not fit the norm -- slave families, immigrant families and utopian communities. A central focus of the course will be the importance of the family in defining and reproducing gender roles and relationships. The course is recommended for students interested in Gender Studies. Prerequisite: None
|Intimate Matters 3rd||D'Emilio||9780226923802||$25.00|
|City of Women||Stansell||9780252014819||$26.00|
This course will survey the history of Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines) from the earliest written records to the present. During the first half of the semester, we will consider Indian and Chinese influences on the region; local forms of kingship, social organization, and religious expression; and the onset of European colonialism. In the second half, we will turn our attention to nationalist movements, the Japanese occupation during WWII, and political independence in the post-war period. Reading will include a comprehensive textbook, historical monographs, a memoir and a novel. Students will conclude the semester with research papers on subjects of their own choosing. Prerequisite: None
|Goddess on the Rise||Taylor||9780824828011||$27.00|
|In the Shadow of the Banyan||Ratner||9781451657715||$16.00|
|Art of Not Being Governed||Scott||9780300169171||$25.00|
|This Earth of Mankind||Toer||9780140256352||$16.00|
|Southeast Asia: A Concise History||Heidhues||9780500283035||$19.95|
This course serves as a broad introduction to the Medieval European world. There are two major goals of the course. First, students should become acquainted with the changes and narratives of medieval history as well as its significance to modern history. Second, as an introduction to the historical discipline, this course offers students the opportunity to learn the methods of historical research: how to use primary sources as well as historiography to formulate historical narratives and arguments. The course will look at the medieval world through a variety of lenses, including political, religious, economic and social history as well as looking at the art, music and literature of the time. As a designated writing course, we will produce some form of text during virtually all weeks of the course, including material on primary sources, historiographic debates and a final research prospectus. Prerequisite: None
|Short History of the Middle Ages 3rd||Rosenwein||9781442601048||$49.95|
A close reading and discussion of poets after the formidable generation of Frost, Eliot, Moore, et al. Poets whose work we will read include Robert Lowell, Randall Jarrell, John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
|Collected Poems 1947-1997||Ginsberg||9780061139758||$25.99|
|Collected Poems 1937-1971||Berryman||9780374522810||$25.00|
“I tramp a perpetual journey.” Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Some journeys, like Homer’s Odysseus’s, end in a return home; others, like Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz’s, end with words that cannot be repeated; and still others, as Emily Dickinson suggests, can occur without stepping outdoors: “to shut our eyes is to travel.” Journeys through interior corridors and journeys through external landscapes will be our focus in this introductory literature course. Through close reading of fiction, poetry, drama, and essays, we will think about the relationship between moving inward and moving outward, between home and exile, between identity and place. We will enter into fictional minds and countries, reading with empathy and with openness – and acquiring a critical vocabulary to describe what we’re seeing and hearing. This class will be writing-intensive; we will read one another’s essays offering encouragement and feedback as drafts evolve into final essays.
Authors may include: Chaucer, William Godwin, Joseph Conrad, Michael Ondaatje, Virginia Woolf, Antonio Machada, Nadine Gordimer, Emily Dickinson, Jose Saramago, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, W.G. Sebald, Aleksandar Hemon, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich.
Prerequisite: None beyond a willingness to engage in the journey of imaginative reading.
“Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.” Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
|Heart of Darkness 4th||Conrad||9780393926361||$22.05|
|To the Lighthouse||Woolf||9780156030472||$15.00|
|Running in the Family||Ondaatje||9780679746690||$15.00|
|Interpreter of Maladies||Lahiri||9780395927205||$14.95|
|Song of Solomon||Morrison||9781400033423||$15.00|
The continent of Africa remains to most students a distant and exotic land, difficult to imagine, and even harder to understand. In this course, we will attempt to become familiar with this part of the world -- its peoples, its history, its politics, its current predicaments. By studying the many different countries and regions that make up this continent, the goal will be to better appreciate, on the one hand, that which makes African politics so unique, rich, and diverse, yet at the same time, to recognize the overwhelming similarities of the struggles of people everywhere. Prerequisite: None
|States and Power in Africa||Herbst||9780691010281||$35.00|
|King Leopold's Ghost||Hochschild||9780618001903||$15.95|
|How Europe Underdeveloped Africa||Rodney||9780882580968||$23.95|
According to Quentin Skinner, political actors face a two-fold problem. On the one hand, they must tailor existing "normative language" to fit their projects, and, on the other hand, they must tailor their projects to fit existing normative language. The history of political theory then is the history of actors creating legitimacy for certain political projects through normative arguments and arguments gaining legitimacy through political action.
From this rich political history, several different schools of thought have emerged, such as utilitarianism, liberalism, socialism, communitarianism, feminism, and libertarianism. We will use debate, forum posts, and short essays to explore these various ideologies and their political implications. The effort will be to make political actions more persuasive and political theory more applicable. Prerequisite: None
|Applying Political Theory||Smits||9780230555099||$43.00|
|Princeton Readings in Political Thought||Cohen||9780691036892||$49.95|
Most writing is nonfiction. "Academic essays" aside, the category covers a huge range of genres: personal essays, memoirs, journalism, "new" journalism, reporting, nonfiction novels. . . the list could go on. In this course, we will both read and write in a variety of nonfiction modes: we'll read essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marilynne Robinson and James Baldwin, short and long journalistic pieces by Hunter Thompson, Malcolm Gladwell and others, and books by Terry Tempest Williams and Truman Capote. And along the way, we'll write -- essays, character studies, journalistic pieces and longer analyses. The goal, everywhere, will be to do what all nonfiction writers do: to tell the truth, to tell it deeply, and to be interesting about it.
This is a writing seminar, so expect a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Work with texts will alternate with work on revision, clarity and style. A good time will be had by all. Prerequisite: None
|River Runs Through It||MacLean||9780226500669||$12.00|
|In Cold Blood||Capote||9780679745587||$15.00|
|Writing Creative Nonfiction||Forche||9781884910500||$18.99|
|Pocket Style Manual 6th||Hacker||9780312542542||$29.50|
Great Britain's incarceration rate is quite high by world standards: 142 of every 100,000 Britons are currently in jail. That number in China is 118 per 100,00, in France 91, in Japan 58, and in Nigeria 31. The U.S. currently imprisons almost 800 of every 100,000 citizens. In other words, one out of every 135 Americans is currently serving time in jail or prison.
Nearly half of the resulting U.S. prison population -- which now numbers almost 2.5 million -- is African American, while African Americans make up only 12% of the U.S. population. And according to a United Nations study, in all the prisons in the world outside the U.S., there are currently 12 minors serving life sentences. In U.S. prisons today there are more than 2,000.
In this seminar we will examine the reality of crime and punishment in the United States. We will begin by studying cases, to build a sense of the principles and practices behind criminal law and criminal sentencing. Then we will move to the deeper level: we will examine the reasoning for and against the death penalty as decisions on death penalty cases. We will then examine the criminal justice system itself, asking a simple question: How did the U.S. find itself with the highest incarceration rate in the world? How are we to judge the costs and benefits of American crime and punishment?
As in any writing seminar, we will write about all of it: expect at least three major papers, culminating in a research paper of your own design, and weekly shorter writing assignments. Discussions of the text will alternate with work on writing: conferences, writing workshops and discussions of style and structure. Prerequisite: None
|Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law||Burney||9781598391831||$24.95|
|Are Prisons Obsolete?||Davis||9781583225813||$11.95|
|Would You Convict?||Robinson||9780814775318||$24.00|
|Pocket Style Manual 6th||Hacker||9780312542542||$29.50|
Virginia Woolf describes the essay as a form that "must lap us about and draw its curtain across the world." But what, she questions, "can the essayist use in these short length of prose to sting us awake and fix us in a trance which is not sleep but rather an intensification of life - a basking, with every faculty alert, in the sun of pleasure?" Her answer is a simple one: "He must know - that is the first essential - how to write." From David Quamman's "The Face of the Spider" to Scott Russell Sanders' "Looking at Women" to Wallace Stegner's "The Town Dump" to Annie Dillard's "Living Like Weasels" to George Saunders' "The Braindead Megaphone," we will explore how contemporary essayists -- in personal essays, nature writing, literary journalism, and science writing -- look closely at everyday objects, practices and experiences. We will analyze what makes these essayists effective, entertaining, and enlightening. And, of course, we will be writing about all of this in several formats: in-class exercises and shorter assignments leading up to two 4-6 page papers and one 8-10 page research paper. Peer response workshops, writing conferences, and in-class work on style, revision, and editing will alternate with our class discussion of the essays. Prerequisite: None
This writing seminar will climb mountains. Throughout the semester, we'll hike through a range of texts that explore what the significance of mountains is to writers from many different traditions. Authors that may be on the reading list include Gary Snyder, Petrarch, Dogen, and Miriam Underhill. We'll write analytically about these texts and creatively about the actual mountains we live amid. Finally, we'll foray to some mountains. Did you know Henry David Thoreau climbed Mt. Wantastiquet while visiting Brattleboro? Have you read fire lookout tower poetry while in a tower? We'll make at least one group ascent of a mountain, adding our voices and footsteps to the peaks.
|Contact: Mountain Climbing and Environmental Thinking||McCarthy||9780874177466||$24.95|
|Danger on Peaks||Snyder||9781593760809||$14.00|
|Walking with Thoreau||Thoreau||9780807085554||$16.00|