Innovation: Honors Writing Seminar
Days: MWF Time: 10:30 - 11:35
ENG 100 Equivalent Class Equivalents: UMF ENG 100
This Honors Seminar meets the ENG 100 Writing Seminar requirement and will explore the idea of innovation from multiple perspectives. We will ask, what is innovation, under what conditions are humans most innovative, what can be done to foster and encourage innovation? Who are innovators in fields we are passionate about, and how can we learn from their practice? Readings will include a variety of texts on innovation and creativity. Along the way, students will craft insightful, thesis-driven essays that explore the history, nature, and future of human progress, understanding, and innovation.
Language Matters: First Year Seminar in Honors
Days: MWF Time: 9:15 - 10:20
Equivalents: UMF FYS 100 Requirement Designation: First Year Seminar - Gen Ed Requirement
This class explores both the “matters” of language (What’s the origin of language? How do we define language? Is language thought? Are there languages that are superior to others? How do gender and language intersect? How does language change? etc.) How and why language “matters” (How has it been used and manipulated? What is its importance? How does it influence *everything* we do on a daily basis?). Through readings, discussions, and written reflections, we examine what language is, what power it has, and why.
Camden Conference 2 credits
January 26-March 9
Days: Tu 6:15-9:35pm
Students can take the course in person or remotely. Camden Conference will focus this year on the Arctic and Geopolitics of Climate Change. The Conference will be virtual this year, to be held February 20-22.
Days: TuTh Time: 8:00 - 9:40
Game theory is a branch of mathematics that examines decision-making. In this course, we will study combinatorial games, two-person zero-sum games, and the generalized multi-player non-zero sum games. We will also examine ideas such as winning strategies and some of the fundamental theorems and ideas of the subject (such as Nash equilibria).
Art and Life
Days: TuTh Time: 12:00 - 3:00
Historically the Art World has perpetuated a distinction between "high" art (fine arts found in museums and galleries) and "low" art (functional, craft, folk, outsider art). Today these attitudes are being challenged by artist's practices that interrogate those entrenched definitions through a novel use of materials and tools. Understanding the fluidity of the "art object" contributes to a blurring of the boundaries between Art and Life. Students will explore these issues by producing their own line of inquiry that focuses on daily practices as a mode of artmaking. Running parallel with production and critique of works, we will look at the historical footprint of this evolution of thought by viewing the work and philosophy of the Dadaists, the Gutai Movement in Japan, Fluxus practices in the 60's and 2nd wave Feminist movement in the 70s. No previous experience necessary.
Music During COVID and Other Plagues
Days: MW Time: 3:40 - 5:20
This course explores how music and the arts have responded to and changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For comparison, we will also study the arts during historical moments such as the 14th-century plague and 1918 flu. For students open to unfamiliar styles and genres of music and arts.
The Literature of Journey and Quest
Days: M Time: 3:10 - 6:30
This course will explore the pervasive themes of journey and quest in world literature with particular attention to the spiritual and psychological dimensions of those themes. Through direct encounter with imaginative literary works from a variety of contexts and genres, we will consider the relationship between interior journeys and journeys through an external landscape, home and exile, bewilderment and certainty. Emphasis throughout will be placed upon careful reading of the texts, which may include Tolkien's Hobbit, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Dante's Inferno, Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and others.
Thinking Through Skin: Race in America
Days: TuTh Time: 9:50 - 11:30 Online
The American "skin game" of race. How do we even approach the vexing task of making sense of something that Michael Eric Dyson has characterized as "our most sturdy and endurable conundrum"? We begin, as is the intention of this course, by thinking through skin to spark and inform discussion about racialized difference. Where do our perceptions of racialized difference come from? Why were racial categories constructed in the first place? How is one's lived experience of race here in Maine similar to, and different from, that of someone who lives in another part of the country? Why should we even care about the ways in which race operates in contemporary, everyday life? We'll tackle these questions and more as we develop personal, critical inquiries into racial matters.
Coming to America: Immigration and Asylum
Days: MWF Time: 2:25 - 3:30
Why do people come here? How do they come? What are their legal options? What impact do immigrants have on the country? What is it like to uproot your life and settle in the United States? Take this course and find out! Students will learn about the history of immigration to the U.S. and U.S. asylum laws and practices, including the past and current experiences of immigrants and their communities. Due to contemporary issues, the course will highlight the history of migration in modern times across the southern border of the United States by people from regions to our south, but it will also include a study of earlier periods and immigration from other areas. The wide variety of readings will include first-person narratives.
Consumerism, Politics, Values
Days: Th Time: 6:15 - 9:35
This course looks at how political and social life has changed in the advanced industrial countries in the 20th and 21st Centuries by looking at the nexus of consumerism and politics, and the impact on societal values. The topics include a mix of economics, psychology, political science, and philosophy, as we struggle to understand the nature of political and social life in the first half of the 21st Century.
Nietzsche's Philosophy of/and/as Music
Days: TuTh Time: 9:50 - 11:30 Online
The 19th C philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is renowned for challenging traditional morality, religion, etc., but his real passion was music. He wrote more about music than any previous philosopher, devoting three of his 13 books to it. Nietzsche believed that music revealed a lot about the culture that produced it; even more, he believed that an individual's taste in music revealed a great deal about that individual's inner psychology. In this course, we will learn what Nietzsche's predecessors, especially Schopenhauer, said about music, and familiarize ourselves with the music of Nietzsche's time and about which he writes. Then we will explore Nietzsche's philosophy of music, both for what it says about Nietzsche's philosophy and for what it says about the nature of music itself. We will close with some speculation about what Nietzsche would think of later music and of our own particular tastes. Whether you just want to study some of the best philosophy that Nietzsche has to offer, or if you agree with him that "Without music, life would be a mistake," this course is for you. Note: Contact instructor if you would like to count this course for the PHI-REL major or PHI minor.
Critical Whiteness Studies
Days: W Time: 3:10 - 6:30
Early in the summer of 2020, the nation was shocked when it saw the video of George Floyd’s death at the hand of police officers. As a result, many people have become aware of the continued impact race has on the lives of those living in the US. While engaging with race and racial difference is easier when you live in a multicultural place, but does race actually matter when we think about rural Maine? And even if it mattered, how could we even begin to study race when rural Maine is almost 100% white?
To answer these questions and to develop new ones, this course invites you to study how the persistence of racial inequality affects not only the lives of people in urban America, regardless of their race, but it affects also the lives of rural populations. To reach this goal we will first learn about why “whiteness” as an identity category matters in our understanding race and how we can account for the differences among different population groups to see their embeddedness in the system. Then we will look at three studies that investigate the impact of systemic racism on the white population of rural America and how the claims of these study manifest themselves throughout American culture, including TV-shows, movies, video games, children’s books, etc. This course will include an ongoing experiential learning component. Requirements: Junior or Senior Standing unless waived by the instructor.