John Hultgren

The course is intended to provide students an introduction to foundational concepts of migration studies. The course will navigate this complex topic through four thematic anchors: (1) Time and Space, which will explore the history of migration from a global perspective, emphasizing the uneven development, colonial encounters, and environmental pressures that give rise to particular forms of migration; (2) Home and Belonging, which will consider the loss of home, the treacherous journey to “safety,” and the ensuing and often impossible struggle to “be at home” in a foreign land; (3) Discourse and Representation, which will analyze who speaks of and for the forced migrant, and how the displaced speak back; and (4) Law and Policy, which will examine the legal and political underpinnings of the contemporary global refugee regime and its development in specific areas. By the end of the term, students will have a working understanding of the causal forces producing displacement, the institutional structures that attempt to govern forced migration and displacement, and the myriad challenges faced by migrant and refugee populations seeking to navigate a new terrain and build a new home.

Jonathan Pitcher

This course is the result of two years of planning, prompted by student need and informed by conversations with the National Center for State Courts, a task force of experts led by the Vermont Office of the Court Administrator, and The Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement and Education.

On the one hand, its purpose is linguistic, seeking to improve performance on the NCSC’s examinations to become a licensed, court-certified interpreter by mirroring their methodology and standards while interpreting real, local, very present cases. Practice exams will therefore include sight, consecutive, and simultaneous translation.

On the other, it will provide readings, discussion, analysis, and workshops, from faculty and guest specialists, on the ethics of court translation, and medical, legal and law enforcement terminology.

Although “housed” at Bennington, with a focus on the 4-College Consortium, it is open to any and all sufficiently advanced speakers of Spanish and English.

Blake Carlton Jones

Discover birds like you’ve never seen or heard them before. This class takes an integrative approach to ornithology, as we will explore avian species from the perspective of  human culture, evolution, natural history, development, ecology, conservation, physiology, genetics, behavior, functional morphology, and even quantum mechanics. This course will explore topics essential to understanding this unique class of vertebrates, such as flight, migration, communication, sexual selection, and more. Students will enjoy a laboratory portion focused on understanding avian development and time in the field to develop avian field techniques and identification skills. Students can expect to gain a life-long appreciation for and fascination of birds. The laboratory portion is scheduled for Wednesdays from 8:00am-11:30am.

Barbara Alfano

In Italian culture, as it happens for every culture, the idea of travel is deeply connected to the country’s social and historical contexts, and to the questioning of personal identity. In this respect, travel becomes a mirror for the traveler. In the case of Italian cinematic narratives, is the mirror sending back surprising images, disclosing secrets, or repeating stereotypes? And what is the place of migration in and out of Italy, in Italian film? We will look at very different voyages whose points of departure are often rooted in the intricacies of Italian regional and local specificities. Through class discussion in the form of debates, students will further improve their ability to express abstract thought in Italian. Writing skills will be developed through weekly analytical short assignments that will mark the transition from simple paragraph level discourse to the production of more complex/complete texts. A final project will cap the work done during the term. This class meets twice a week; however, students will be required to watch Italian films outside of class regularly. Conducted in Italian. Intermediate level.

Miroslava Prazak

Globalization has transformed the way we live. The world is experiencing an unprecedented interaction of people, ideas, images, and things that continues to intensify. Communication technologies link people instantaneously across the globe. Economic activities challenge national boundaries. People are on the move within and between countries. The complexities of the global economy and the connections it facilitates among people, states, and corporations reveal both the potential to create links and to divide, giving rise and expression to imbalances and inequalities. How do people make life choices in this complex web of constraints and opportunities? What are the dynamics by which differential access to resources and opportunities is determined within societies and between them? Has the world become homogenized or do societies and cultures continue to differ in significant ways? What are the structures within which power is negotiated, and what are the factors that shaped them historically and in the present? Through ethnographies reflecting anthropology’s unique research strategies, analytical methodologies, deep commitment to the project of cross-cultural understanding and engagement in attempts to make the world a better place, we will explore the animating forces of today’s world—globalization, democratization/authoritarianism, capitalism, migration, social movements, as they shape the constraints and opportunities open to citizens of specific countries and communities.

Farhad Mirza

In this course we will study what the wall does literally and symbolically. In architecture, walls are expected to delimit space and to support the roof. The built wall is where two diverse areas meet—one might say that the wall expresses the relationship between them. Walls make the existential struggle between an exterior and an interior tangible. We will discuss work by contemporary artists who use walls literally, allegorically, and metaphorically to talk about topics related to migration, mobility, and belonging. We will compare these works to real walls that delineate physical and political boundaries. Students will write one paper, and make one presentation.