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Interdisciplinary Studies

Students may choose to major in an established interdisciplinary program supported by faculty committees or design an independent interdisciplinary major. Established programs are African American studies, American cultural studies, Asian studies, biological chemistry, classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, neuroscience, and women and gender studies. Students should consult the chairs of these programs for information about requirements and theses.

Students undertaking independent interdisciplinary majors should consult the section of the Catalog on the Academic Program (see page 20). Independent interdisciplinary majors are supported by the Committee on Curriculum and Calendar and students should consult the committee chair for information about requirements and thesis.

Courses

INDS 100. African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal.This team-taught course introduces students to some of the cultural beliefs, values, and experiences shaping contemporary Africa. Students focus on the impact of climatic, cultural, and geopolitical diversity as well as how the politics of ethnicity, religion, age, race, and gender influence daily life. The course forges students' critical capacity to resist simplistic popular understandings and works to refocus their attention on distinctively "African perspectives." Case studies vary year to year. Students design a research project to augment their knowledge about a specific issue within a particular region. This course is primarily for first- and second-year students with little critical knowledge of Africa and serves as the introduction to the General Education Concentration Considering Africa (C022). Cross-listed in anthropology, French, and politics. Enrollment limited to 40. (Governance and Conflict.) (Identities and Interests.) Normally offered every year. A. Dauge-Roth, E. Eames, L. Hill. Concentrations

INDS 130. Food in Ancient Greece and Rome. Participants in this course study food in ancient Greece and Rome: the history of the food supply for agrarian and urban populations; malnutrition, its probable impact on ancient economies, and its uneven impact on populations; famine; the symbolism of the heroic banquet—a division of the sacrificial animal among ranked members of society, and between men and gods; cuisine and delicacies of the rich; forbidden food; the respective roles of men and women in food production, and their unequal access to food supply; dietary transgression; and sacred food. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, history, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Classical and Medieval Studies s28. Enrollment limited to 60. (European.) (Premodern.) D. O'Higgins. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 208. Introduction to Medieval Archaeology.The Middle Ages were a time of major cultural changes that laid the groundwork for Northwest Europe's emergence as a global center of political and economic power in subsequent centuries. However, many aspects of life in the period from 1000 to 1500 C.E. were unrecorded in contemporary documents and art, and archaeology has become an important tool for recovering that information. This course introduces the interdisciplinary methods and the findings of archaeological studies of topics including medieval urban and rural lifeways, health, commerce, religion, social hierarchy, warfare, and the effects of global climate change. Cross-listed in anthropology, classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (Premodern.) G. Bigelow. Concentrations

INDS 210. Technology in U.S. History.Surveys the development, distribution, and use of technology in the United States from colonial roadways to microelectronics, using primary and secondary source material. Subjects treated include sexual and racial divisions of labor, theories of invention and innovation, and the ecological consequences of technological change. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, history, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for History/Women and Gender Studies 210. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/WS 210. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) R. Herzig. Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 211. Environmental Perspectives on U.S. History.This course explores the relationship between the North American environment and the development and expansion of the United States. Because Americans' efforts (both intentional and not) to define and shape the environment were rooted in their own struggles for power, environmental history offers an important perspective on the nation's social history. Specific topics include Europeans', Africans', and Indians' competing efforts to shape the colonial environment; the impact and changing understanding of disease; the relationship between industrial environments and political power; and the development of environmental movements. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, environmental studies, and history. Not open to students who have received credit for Environmental Studies/History 211. Not open to students who have received credit for ES/HI 211. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) J. Hall. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 219. Environmental Archaeology.Over the past two hundred years archaeologists, scientists, and humanists in many disciplines have worked together to understand the interactions of past human populations with the physical world, including plants, animals, landscapes, and climates. This course outlines the methods and theories used by archaeologists, geologists, biologists, physicists, chemists, and historians in reconstructing past economies and ecologies in diverse areas of the globe. The course also discusses how archaeology contributes to our understanding of contemporary environmental issues such as rapid climate change, shrinking biodiversity, and sustainable use of resources. Cross-listed in anthropology, environmental studies, and history. Recommended background: Anthropology 103. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. G. Bigelow. Concentrations

INDS 221. Exhibiting American Culture.How is America defined through cultural exhibitions and performances of national identity? This course examines the politics of exhibiting American culture. Each week the course investigates distinct exhibitions of visual culture and the cultural body, such as historic house museums, plantations and American slavery museums, Colonial Williamsburg, world expositions, the phenomenon of the wild west show, cowboy culture, Native American exhibitions, and displays of American culture in music videos, film, and television. Through these types of exhibitions, students consider issues of stereotype, race, and national and local identity. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, art and visual culture, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. One-time offering. A. Bessire. Concentrations

INDS 222. History of American Popular Culture.We live in a world surrounded by the trends of popular culture. What has defined American pop culture through history? This course examines the history of popular culture in America from the nineteenth century to the present. Students investigate the ways that Americans have popularized trends, with special focus on the following case studies: chapbooks, dime novels, blackface and minstrel shows, P. T. Barnum, burlesque and vaudeville, baseball and American visual culture, amusement parks, advertising, popular music, television, and film. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, art and visual culture, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. One-time offering. A. Bessire. Concentrations

INDS 228. Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment.This course considers scientific and religious accounts of the origin of the universe, examines the relations between these accounts, and explores the way they shape our deepest attitudes toward the natural world. Topics of discussion include the biblical Creation stories, contemporary scientific cosmology, the interplay between these scientific and religious ideas, and the roles they both can play in forming a response to environmental problems. Cross-listed in environmental studies, physics, and religious studies. Enrollment limited to 40. [S] J. Smedley, T. Tracy. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 235. The Politics of Pleasure and Desire: Women's Independent and Third Cinema and Video from the African Diaspora.This course examines independent and Third Cinema, and some written texts by women of African descent using contemporary theories of female pleasure and desire. By viewing and reading these cultural productions drawn from "high" and "low" culture in the light of a variety of film theories (e.g., feminist, womanist/black feminist, postcolonial, diasporic) as well as race-critical, feminist, and cultural theories, students explore the "textual" strategies that construct black female representations, and Afra-diasporic authors/directors and audiences as subjects and as agents of political change. Cross-listed in African American studies, rhetoric, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. S. Houchins. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.Interdisciplinarity involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. Prerequisite(s): African American Studies 100 or 140A or Women and Gender Studies 100, and one other course in African American studies, American cultural studies, or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 255. Modern Japanese Women Writers.How do Japanese women writers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries portray the complexities of today's world? How do they negotiate the gendered institutions of the society in which they live? What values do they assign to being a woman, to being Japanese? Students consider issues such as family, power, gender roles, selfhood, and the female body in reading a range of novels, short stories, and poems. Authors may include Enchi Fumiko, Ohba Minako, Kurahashi Yumiko, Tsushima Yuko, Tawara Machi, Yamada Eimi, and Yoshimoto Banana. Readings and discussion are in English. Cross-listed in Asian studies, Japanese, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Japanese/Women and Gender Studies 255. Not open to students who have received credit for JA/WS 255. Open to first-year students. [W2] S. Strong. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 256. Rites of Spring.Le Sacre du printempsThe Rite of Spring— began as a ballet, with music by Igor Stravinsky, choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, and sets and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. Premiered in 1913 to riots in Paris, The Rite of Spring has lived on to become one of the most important pieces of music in the Western canon and the zenith of stature and daring for choreographers. This course examines where it came from and how it has evolved over time through dance works, music, and cultural context. Cross-listed in dance, music, and Russian. [W2] C. Dilley. Concentrations

INDS 257. African American Women's History and Social Transformation.This course examines the political, social, and cultural traditions African American women have created from slavery to the current moment, notably the influence of African American women on the major social movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including abolition, woman's suffrage, the club movement, women's liberation, the black arts movement, the civil rights movement, and Black Power. Through novels, plays, autobiography, music, and nonfiction produced by and about African American women, students explore a range of intellectual and cultural traditions. Recommended background: one course in women and gender studies and/or one course in African American studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, politics, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 257. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/WS 257. Enrollment limited to 30. (Identities and Interests.) (Institutional Politics.) M. Plastas. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.Places recent popular and scientific discussions of human heredity and genetics in broader social, political, and historical context, focusing on shifting definitions of personhood. Topics include the ownership and exchange of human bodies and body parts, the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, history, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for History/Women and Gender Studies 267. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/WS 267. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) R. Herzig. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.This course studies the response of black writers and intellectuals of the Spanish-speaking world to issues related to the natural environment. In three countries, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea, modernity has brought serious challenges to notions of economic progress, human rights, and national sovereignty, as well as individual and communal identity. Course materials include written texts from local newspapers and magazines, as well as other sources of information such as Internet sites that discuss issues related to the environment and the arts. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level Spanish literature course. Cross-listed in African American studies, environmental studies, and Spanish. Not open to students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies 320. B. Fra-Molinero. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 325. Black Feminist Literary Theory and Practice.This seminar examines literary theories that address the representation and construction of race, gender, and sexuality, particularly, but not exclusively, theories formulated and articulated by Afra-diasporic women such as Spillers, Ogunyemi, Henderson, Valerie Smith, McDowell, Busia, Lubiano, and Davies. Students not only analyze theoretical essays but also use the theories as lenses through which to explore literary productions of women writers of Africa and the African diaspora in Europe and in the Americas, including Philip, Dangarembga, Morrison, Herron, Gayl Jones, Head, CondĂ©, Brodber, Brand, Merle Collins, and Harriet Wilson. Cross-listed in African American studies, English, and women and gender studies. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. (Critical thinking.) S. Houchins. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 333. Goddesses and Goddess Worship in India."Jai Ma!"—"Victory to the Mother!"—is a cry that resounds throughout India. From the feminine deities familiar across India to local goddess cults, devotion to the divine feminine plays a central role in Hindu religious traditions. Both benevolent and terror-inspiring, protective and destructive, goddesses display multiple characteristics and fulfill multiple roles in the Hindu religious universe. This course examines textual sources, anthropological case studies, and visual resources in an in-depth exploration of Hindu goddess traditions that also considers how gender functions in religious imagination and how this relates to social structures. Recommended background: Asian Studies/Religious Studies 249 or Anthropology 264. Cross-listed in Asian studies, religious studies, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Schomburg. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.This course examines the politics of the body through the inter/transdisciplinary frames of the narrative and performance, including the specific ways performance and narrative theories of the body and cultural practices operate in everyday life and social formations. Students examine how the "body" is performed and how narrative is constructed in a variety of different contexts such as race, gender, disease, sexuality, and culture. The course places narrative and performance at the center (rather than the margins) of inquiry, asking how far and how deeply performativity reaches into our lives and how performances construct our identities, differences, and our bodies: who we are and who we can become. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, politics, sociology, or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Prerequisite(s): Women and Gender Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS 457. Interdisciplinary Senior Thesis.Independent study and writing of a major research paper in the area of the student's interdisciplinary major, supervised by an appropriate faculty member. Students register for Interdisciplinary Senior Thesis 457 in the fall semester. Interdisciplinary majors writing an honors thesis register for both Interdisciplinary Thesis 457 and 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.

INDS 457, 458. Interdisciplinary Senior Thesis.Independent study and writing of a major research paper in the area of the student's interdisciplinary major, supervised by an appropriate faculty member. Students register for Interdisciplinary Senior Thesis 457 in the fall semester. Interdisciplinary majors writing an honors thesis register for both Interdisciplinary Thesis 457 and 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.

INDS 458. Interdisciplinary Senior Thesis.Independent study and writing of a major research paper in the area of the student's interdisciplinary major, supervised by an appropriate faculty member. Students register for Interdisciplinary Senior Thesis 458 in the winter semester. Interdisciplinary majors writing an honors thesis register for both Interdisciplinary Thesis 457 and 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.

Short Term Courses

INDS s12. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1960–1970: History, Strategies, and Implications.This course examines the history and strategies of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (1960–1970) and SNCC's role in the African American civil rights movement in the South from 1954. The course provides a context for students to analyze implications for present-day moral radicalism, social protest, and the relation of faith and justice making. Students read texts, witness documentaries, learn and sing freedom songs, and observe video-taped selections from the fiftieth anniversary of SNCC Conference in April 2010. Crosslisted in African American studies, American cultural studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. W. Blaine-Wallace. Concentrations

INDS s15. Health, Culture, and Community.This course examines dimensions of health through classroom and community-based experiences, with a special emphasis on current public health issues. The course covers the history and organization of public health; methods associated with health-related research; disparities in health, including those related to race, class, and gender; public policy and health; population-based approaches to public health; and cultural constructions of health and illness. The course is designed to be integrative: expertise from different disciplines is used to address current challenges in public health. Cross-listed in anthropology, biology, and psychology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. K. Low. Concentrations

INDS s19. Food, Culture, and Performance.This interdisciplinary seminar examines the idea of cultural engagement through food. Students explore the meanings of food and eating across cultures, with particular attention to how people define themselves socially, symbolically, and politically through food consumption practices. Drawing from cultural, critical, and performance theories, students engage in the dialectics of cultural exchange and the fluidity of identity; they interrogate conceptions of desire and consumption. The course develops research and writing skills, introduces visual and performance theories of culture, and fosters an understanding of the importance of food and its relationship to identity construction, histories, and cultural literacy. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 20. M. Beasley. Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS s24. Shetland Islands: Archaeological Field Course.The main element of this unit is the excavation of a late medieval/early modern farmstead at Brow, Shetland (Scotland). Early settlement in Shetland was on the margin of successful medieval colonization of the North Atlantic. The Brow site is a revealing "laboratory" in which to explore the interaction of climate change and human settlement in a fragile coastal zone. A series of field trips in mainland Scotland place the Brow excavation in the wider context of settlement, environment, archaeology, and the history of Scotland and the North Atlantic. Recommended background: courses in medieval history or archaeology. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. (Premodern.) M. Jones. Concentrations   |   Interdisciplinary Programs.

INDS s36. Making African American History: Preserving the Archives of the Portland NAACP.The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization, and it has had an active branch in Portland, Maine, since 1920. However, that branch's role in African American history is relatively unknown because there is no publicly available record of its activities. In this course, students uncover and preserve this important piece of local African American history. They begin with a historical overview of the NAACP and of African Americans in Maine coupled with training in the fundamentals of archival processing. Students then arrange and describe NAACP papers newly housed at the Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, and consider how this collection adds to the public record. Transportation and supplies are provided. Recommended background: African American Studies 100, African American Studies/History 253, or History s40. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, English, and history. Enrollment limited to 10. M. Godfrey. Concentrations