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The Social Animal | The Evergreen State College
""Because we as human beings spend a good deal of our time interacting with other people--being influenced by them, influencing them, being delighted, amused, saddened, and angered by them--it is natural that we develop hypotheses about social behavior. In that sense, we are all amateur social psychologists." —Eliot Aronson, The Social Animal , 2012

In this full-time program, we will explore the fundamentals of social psychology, the field that bridges psychology and sociology, to examine how people think, feel, and behave because of the real (or imagined) presence of social others. This program starts with the premise that human beings are inherently social beings informed, influenced, and constituted by the social world. Using this perspective as a launching off point, we will investigate everyday life--from the mundane to the extraordinary--as it is lived and experienced by individuals involved in an intricate web of social relationships. This social psychological view of the self explores the ways that individuals are enmeshed and embodied within the social context both in the moment and the long-term, ever constructing who we are, how we present ourselves to the world, and how we are perceived by others.

Through lecture, workshop, twice-weekly seminar, film, reading, writing and research assignments, we will cover most of the fundamental topics within the field including: conformity, emotions and sentiments, persuasion and propaganda, obedience to authority, social cognition, attitudes, aggression, attraction, and desire. We will also learn about and practice social psychological research methods. A final project will be to conduct primary and secondary research on a social psychological phenomenon of students’ own interest, and to use one’s findings to create a segment for a podcast in a style similar to NPR’s “This American Life.""
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  psychology  sociology  eliotaronson  lauracitrin  behavior  socialbehavior  humans  presentationofself  conformity  emotions  persuasion  propaganda  obedience  authority  socialcognition  attitudes  aggression  desire  atraction  socialpsychology  thesocialanimal 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Trees | The Evergreen State College
"How do trees, and forest communities, function? What makes them tick? What determines the tallest trees in the world? What makes trees some of the oldest organisms on earth? These and many other questions about trees have captivated humans since the dawn of time. In this program we will closely examine trees in their variety of form and function. We will use our studies to learn how understanding of tree form and function integrates study of botany, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography and ecology.

Our studies will be divided between those that focus on individual trees, forests and whole forests. We will also read classic and recent texts about human interactions with trees and how our relationships to trees still help shape our collective identities and cultures. Students will learn how to read and interpret recent scientific studies from peer-reviewed journals and be challenged to reconcile popular belief about the roles of trees with scientific observations. Day trips, workshops, labs and a multiple-day field trip will allow us to observe some of the largest trees on the West Coast and observe and measure trees in extreme environments. Communication skills will be emphasized, particularly reading scientific articles and writing for scientific audiences. We will also practice skills for communicating to a broader public using nonfiction and technical writing."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  biology  botany  environment  environmentalstudies  naturalhistory  riting  fieldstudies  forestry  trees  plants  ecology  naturalscience  science  dylanfischer 
september 2014 by robertogreco
What Are Children For? | The Evergreen State College
"Childhood is not just a biological fact of life. Philippe Aries famously argued that children and childhood did not exist before the modern era. How do ideas about children, the conditions of child rearing and of childhood, and conventions of education change over time? And if the meanings of "children" and "childhood" change throughout history and across cultures, how can people ever know if they are making the "best" decisions on behalf of the children whom they raise, educate, care for, advocate for, employ or support?

In this program, students will learn how children’s experience and adult interpretations of childhood have changed in the Western world over the last 400 years. Until about 150 years ago, most children were necessary: they contributed labor to the maintenance of the family home and were expected to reproduce the circumstances of their birth. The social revolutions of the 18th century disrupted all social hierarchies, including those within families. We will examine how these disruptions transformed childhood and moved children from the periphery to the center of adult intellectual, moral and medical interest.

Students will learn how children in North America lived and were viewed by adults from the 16th century forward, and examine how the meaning of childhood was transformed during the flowering of the Enlightenment. We will study the changing meanings of innocence and sin, labor and leisure, value and sacredness, and how those meanings figured in the way children were seen and treated. Guest speakers from the community who have a professional or political interest in children will share their experiences with the program.

The class befits students who work with or care about children. It will also enlighten anyone who has grown up, is still trying to grow up, or wonders if she or he has, or should ever, grow up."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  americanstudies  sociology  writing  history  parenting  socialservices  education  children  society  nancykoppelman  charlespailthorp  philippearies  labor  leisure 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Writing the New Journalism: Creative Nonfiction | The Evergreen State College
"Writers have come to realize that the genre of nonfiction writing can be as colorful and gripping as any piece of fiction. The difference is that nonfiction writers are not burdened with inventing characters, dialogue, plot and description because everything they write about actually happened. Creative nonfiction writers assemble the facts and events and array them artistically and stylistically, using the descriptive techniques of the fiction writer. They immerse themselves in a venue, set about gathering their facts while demonstrating scrupulous accuracy, and then write an account of what happened in their own voice. The Greyhound Bus Company advertised “getting there is half the fun.” In the genre of creative nonfiction, getting there is all the fun because the reader already knows how the piece ends before it begins. Students will become proficient with the form through intensive fieldwork, research and writing.

We will begin by studying field research methodology in preparation for observational studies in the field designed to teach the difference between truly seeing and simply looking. Students can’t write and describe something they can’t see clearly.

Students will conduct field research to learn to pay attention to detail, read and discuss representative examples of the form, and meet weekly in regularly scheduled writing workshop. Following a period of redrafting and corrections, students will present their final piece to the group in the last week of the quarter.

We will read and discuss the following creative nonfiction books: Literary Journalism ed. by Sims & Kramer, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Number Our Days by Barbara Myerhoff, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil by John Berendt, Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom, Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson, and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  thomasfoote  writing  journalism  nonfiction  creativewriting  humanities 
september 2014 by robertogreco
It's About Time | The Evergreen State College
Quick—what time is it? Your answer probably comes from a smartphone that connects you instantly to information across the globe. New technologies drive new experiences of time and writers and artists respond to those new experiences with startling innovations in form and vision.

Through the critical study of art and literature, we will explore the experience of time in the modernist period—roughly defined as the first half of the 20th century. In those decades, airplanes, automobiles, telephones and radio sped up time and the modernists responded in kind. How did they experience time? How is this different from our own experience of it?

To answer those questions, we will not only study modernist art and literature, but also live like modernists. We will begin the fall quarter with a voyage, sailing the waters of Puget Sound on a 100-year-old schooner. We will slow down by using the technologies of the past. Students will write with ballpoint pens and typewriters, draw from observation and move into abstraction, use film photography, memorize poetry and go to museums, all in the hopes of living more slowly. During both fall and winter quarters we will study movements such as Romanticism, Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Cubism, Dada, Abstraction and Surrealism in visual art and literature. Students will engage with authors like James Joyce, Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf and artists like Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.

Students in this program can expect to examine art, literature and culture in the modernist period; learn how to draw, paint and write in various ways from naturalism to abstraction; understand the basic principles behind artistic and literary representation in the modernist period; and go on field trips using "slow" technologies (train, boat, walking).
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  arthistory  art  history  visualarts  writing  literature  trevorspeller  shawnosha  gregmullins  time  modernism  proust  culture  marcelproust 
september 2014 by robertogreco
In Search of Lost Time | The Evergreen State College
"How does memory shape our identities and our sense of the world? How do our personal experiences, our ties with others, and larger social forces affect what we remember, and why? This inquiry will take the work of Marcel Proust as focus and inspiration for exploring these questions. Students will also create their own original research and writing on memory-in-action—crafting a memoir, an oral history, or an investigation of an historical or cultural memory-topic that grows out of our studies.

We will do a sustained, in-depth reading of the first two volumes of Proust's 4000-page masterpiece of early 20th century literature, In Search of Lost Time (also known as The Remembrance of Things Past ). Heralded as one of the first examples of the modern novel, Proust's work crystallized and refracted key psychological, cultural and sociological concerns of the emerging "modern age." To place our understanding of this literature in context, we will study fin-de-siècle European and intellectual history and thinkers like Bergson, Halbwachs, Freud, Benjamin, and even Einstein’s theories of space and time. We will also examine innovative recent scholarship about ways in which memory can be "collective" in specific communities and whole societies today. We will play with the intertwining of time, memory, identity, and meaning in a wide range of French, American and other contexts, including some films that make powerful use of these themes.

This is a literature-history-and-folklore focused, reading and writing-intensive program. Students will read 300+ pages of complex texts each week, participate in two weekly seminars on Proust plus a third seminar on dynamics of memory in everyday life, and write about these texts. Over the course of the quarter you will develop, revise and share your memory project with ongoing guidance from faculty and dialogue with peers. Your work will culminate in a polished essay and a presentation in our symposium.
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  americanstudies  anthropology  ethnography  writing  literature  culturalstudies  culture  history  folklore  media  education  staceydavis  samuelschrager  proust  marcelproust  memory 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth | The Evergreen State College
"Fifty years ago, Buckminster Fuller contemplated our planetary future and our limited ability to imagine alternative futures in his book, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth . In this program, we will consider what it means to be astronauts on our home planet and how to creatively imagine healthy and sustainable future scenarios. Guiding questions for the program will include: What shapes cultural values and how do cultures change, adapt and form new paths? How do we weave together various branches of knowledge into a healthy system and vision for the world? What do we make with the abundance of material goods that fill our daily lives? How do we design objects and spaces to create a more sustainable and fulfilling existence?

To address these questions, we will consider traditions of the past and present that demonstrate cultural responses to environmental limits and possibilities. Yogic philosophy, for example, offers critical guidelines for sustainable living and we will explore the principles and practices of this tradition. We will examine the ideologies of the Arts and Crafts movement, the modernist avant-garde, social sculpture and art as social practice. These will be connected with the environmental movement and current trends such as upcycling, cradle-to-cradle design and the resurgence in handiwork and traditions of craft.

Students will research and construct their own “Operating Manuals” over the course of the three quarters. This will include a critical look at alternative and utopian models for living, as well as engage with powerful sustainability and justice movements already at work in our community. This program will challenge students to engage through readings and weekly seminar discussions, field visits and research papers, as well as visual art projects and critiques.

In fall quarter, we will build vocabularies and skills for thinking about sustainability and community transformation. Studio work in two- and three-dimensional design and ceramics will emphasize redesigning, repurposing and reusing the proliferation of materials available all around us. Yoga labs will help us to integrate work in the classroom and studio with yogic thought and somatic experiences. Study and comparison of cross-cultural examples of sustainability practices will guide the development of our Operating Manuals.

In winter quarter, we will work to develop community projects and/or individual visual artworks. We will work with organizations such as Sustainable South Sound and The Commons to develop applied projects. Students will research and report on local and regional alternative, intentional communities. Our critical analysis of sustainability discourses will inform all of our studio work.

Spring quarter will offer opportunities to further develop and implement community projects. These may take the form of public art projects, sculptures or installations that enhance public spaces such as community or school gardens or parks. They may also involve facilitating public art processes that integrate the concepts and design principles central to this program."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  buckminsterfuller  anthropology  karengaul  evanblackwell  anthonytindill  architecture  design  art  arthistory  history  community  consciousness  consciousnessstudies  sustainability  sustainabilitystudies  somaticstudies  culturalstudies  culture  visualarts  spaceshipearth 
september 2014 by robertogreco
River Reciprocity | The Evergreen State College
"This interdisciplinary science and visual arts program is focused on rivers, streams, and watersheds and is designed for beginning students in art and ecology. Students will explore the role of art and science in helping people develop a deep and reciprocal relationship with a watershed. We will study physical stream characteristics that affect the distributions and relationships among biological organisms. We will develop observational skills in both art and science as well as keep illustrated field journals that are inspired by a connection to a specific stream.

The first half of the program focuses on the Nisqually River watershed. Through readings and field studies, students will learn the history of the watershed, study concepts in stream ecology, learn to identify native plants in the watershed, and learn about current conservation efforts. We will work with local K-12 schools to conduct water quality testing, identify aquatic macroinvertebrates, and provide environmental education to elementary school students. The study of freshwater ecology will include basic water chemistry, stream flow dynamics, primary productivity, organic matter and nutrient dynamics, aquatic insect taxonomy, ecological interactions, current threats to freshwater ecosystems, and ecological restoration. The program will focus on current research in riparian zones, streams, rivers, and watersheds. Students will have opportunities to be involved in small-scale group research projects in stream ecology. An overnight field trip will be organized to provide in-depth experiences in the field and study of rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

Students will develop beginning drawing skills and practice techniques for keeping an illustrated field journal. They will work in charcoal, chalk pastel, watercolor, and colored pencil. They will explore strategies for using notes and sketches to inspire more finished artworks. Through lectures and readings, students will study artists whose work is inspired by their deep connection to a place. Each student will visit a local stream regularly and, in the second half of the quarter, will create a series of artworks or an environmental education project that gives something back to their watershed."
aesthetics  ecology  environmentalstudies  environment  fieldstudies  naturalhistory  visualarts  art  watershed  carrileroy  luciaharrison  evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  restoration  naturalresources  rivers  streams 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Art and Archive | The Evergreen State College
"We are living in the archive. The 21st century, age of the digital and of infinite information horizons, offers particularly fertile conditions for future artists, writers, curators, and educators to meet, collaborate, and reinvent their identities as cultural workers, memory agents, and experimental pedagogues. This program is designed to support students in the arts and humanities who are interested in forging a practice that combines creative and critical engagement with questions of memory, the writing of history, the document and the object, the history of exhibition and display, the gallery, museum, and archive.

We will investigate the ways that cultural institutions, including museums, ethnographic films, and documentary photography have written "official" histories; our own creative experiments will be directed toward critiquing and intervening in these visual narratives by working closely with archival materials. Our studios and laboratories will often be museums and archives; we will visit museums in Seattle and Portland, and we will spend time almost every week in a local archive, getting to know the Washington State Archives here in Olympia as artist-researchers.

This is an advanced program for students who are looking to develop their own research-based artistic practice and who want to pursue small-scale individual or collaborative projects within the context of a program structured around supporting that work through lecture/screenings, presentations, weekly writing workshop and project critique, and seminars on common readings. Students will plan independent work for the quarter under faculty guidance. Students will also share in leading class sessions that may include regular work-in-progress presentations, seminar facilitation, and other presentations of research related to program themes. Projects supported: critical/creative writing (we will do our best to blur the line between these), non-traditional writing for the moving image and performance, video and film, photography, and other visual arts."
art  arthistory  history  mediaarts  visualarts  writing  juliazay  evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  archives  museums  museumstudies  libraries  curation 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Silence, Solitude, Laziness and Other Pillars of the Good Life | The Evergreen State College
"Freedom and discipline concur
only in ecstasy, all else
is shoveling out the muck.
Give me my old hot horn.
Hayden Carruth, “Freedom and Discipline”

Silence has been banished by ear buds, the roar of politics and the economy, and the hum of hard disks doing our searching. Solitude? Think- as you're tempted to buy a retreat in a monastery or take a guided walk in a faraway canyon- of surveillance and our collective reliance on Facebook and its e-cousins. Laziness? We're anxious to be worker bees, and the last defense of a “right to be lazy” was written by Paul Lafargue in 1883. Silence, solitude, laziness: gone.

This program will consider three paradoxical, counterintuitive hypotheses: Silence may open space to enjoy the virtues of vernacular speech and living in common. Solitude may allow us to know the importance of embracing others. Laziness may be more productive than work if our aim is the good life.

We will follow the paths of iconoclasts, monks, mystics, utopian socialists, Charlie Chaplin and other artists, stoics and cynics and the occasional (certified) sociologist or philosopher to remember what we know about living well.

In addition to the common work of the program, students will undertake an independent study of considerable significance that should be more admirable than convincing.

At least four class hours each week will be devoted to writing, learning to make artful sentences. Students will read their work aloud and learn to accept and give good, open and public criticism of writing. In addition to the common work of the program, students will undertake an independent study of considerable significance that should be more admirable and beautiful than convincing. This project will account for up to half of the credit to be awarded. If your own writing practice contains even a scintilla of laziness, that’ll change."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  consciousness  consciousnessstudies  education  philosophy  writing  sociology  billarney  sarahuntington  haydencarruth  silence  solitude  laziness  leisure  leisurearts  artleisure 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Small Things: Intimate Inquiries into Everyday Life | The Evergreen State College
"This two-quarter introductory program considers how small things—personal affections and distastes, allegiances and exclusions, possessions and wastes—make up our daily worlds and contribute to broader, systemic patterns of order in societies. Grounding our studies in anthropology, social psychology and sociology, we will consider the implications of personal choices and actions on society at large, in the U.S. and in a range of cultural and historical settings. What is the relationship between our identities and the small things we do, think, feel, say, desire, choose, wear or own? How do routine actions contribute to social hierarchies, differences and inequalities? What can looking closely at the micro-social world teach us about power?

We will examine a range of minutia: words uttered in routine conversations, facial expressions, bodily adornments, grooming habits, tweets posted and things collected and consumed. Focusing on the key domains of everyday life—work, school and home—we will engage in micro investigations: slowing down, paying close attention, observing systematically and deriving meaning from the details. Program activities, including lectures, workshops, field trips, films and book seminars, will build skills in empirical observation, documentation, asking questions, analysis, interpretation and writing. Students will read anthropological and sociological ethnographies and social psychological studies that inquire into small things and help us develop methodological approaches for studying closely. We will also engage in close readings of challenging theoretical texts that critically explore modes of power. Through these practices, students will learn the foundations of the interpretive social sciences."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  ericstein  lauracitrin  anthropology  psychology  sociology 
september 2014 by robertogreco

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