Recommended Entry Courses
Chairs of departments and programs provide the information below to help first-year students select appropriate entry-level courses. Some of you may be thinking about majoring in these subjects. Others may want to explore an area of interest or take a course that fulfills a General Education requirement. Whatever your direction, the Bates College faculty advises you to explore new areas. The faculty also recommends that each first-year student register for a First-Year Seminar. See the list at http://www.bates.edu/orientation/fys/.
African American Studies:
We encourage first year students interested in African American Studies to take the introductory course, AAS 100. Students may also choose from a variety of entry-level courses open to first year students. These include: AA/AC 119 Cultural Politics, AA/DN Contemporary Issues in Dance AA/EN 115 A African American Literature II, AA/EN 265 The Writings of Toni Morrison, AA/EN Narrating Slavery, AA/RH 162 White Redemption: Cinema and the Co-optation of African American History, AA/HI 243 African American History, AA/MU 249 African American Popular Music. Besides taking African American Studies courses as electives, note that it is possible to major or to do a minor in this field at Bates.
Students considering a major or secondary concentration in African American Studies may speak with the Program Chair, or other faculty associated with the Program to learn more about the major and to receive guidance on their course selections.
American Cultural Studies:
First-year students interested in exploring this major should take ACS 100, Introduction to American Cultural Studies, offered in winter term 2012 or ACS 220, Fieldwork in American Cultural Studies, also offered in winter term 2012. Both courses are required for the major. They might also consider courses on the American experience that introduce race, ethnicity and/or gender as categories of analysis. Among relevant courses are AAS 140, Introduction to African American Studies; AA/AC 119, Cultural Politics; AA/AN, The Making of the Caribbean, and other courses in African American, Native American, Latin American, Asian American Studies and Latino/a Studies. A complete list of courses is provided in the catalog under the major.
FYS 172, FYS 242 or FYS 325 may serve as an entry into the anthropology major. Those students considering a major in anthropology often begin with Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (AN 101). Alternately, they may take Introduction to Archaeology (AN 103), or Introduction to Human Evolution (AN 104). Many of our majors actually end up entering the field by way of our electives, such as 100-level or 200-level courses organized around geographical areas (e.g., Africa, The Caribbean or South Asia), or those focusing on certain themes (e.g., popular culture, gender, or religion). Students are encouraged to speak with any member of the Anthropology Department about their particular interests.
Art and Visual Culture:
The major has two paths, one in studio and the other in the history and criticism of art and visual culture. The following suggestions reflect courses that are available in the fall 2013. Majors in the studio art track usually begin with any 200 level courses. In studio art, students can begin with AVC 203, 212A, 213A, 214A, 219, 312A and 316. Students planning to major in studio who have been unable to secure a place in one of these courses should see the department chair immediately on arrival on campus to see whether the department might be able to waive the prerequisites for other studio courses for students with extensive studio backgrounds. Students planning a major in studio art can also begin taking the 200-level courses in the history and criticism track needed to fill the studio majors’ requirement for three courses in that area.
Majors in the history and criticism track usually begin with any 200-level course in the history and criticism of art and visual culture, for example, AVC 280, AVAS 234, AVAS 243, AVCM 251, AVWS 287, and ACAV 288. All of these courses are open to first-year students and are taken by a range of students, both majors and non-majors. The department has one first-year seminar offered this fall, FYS 266, which can be counted towards the major. Please note that the department does not offer any 100-level courses. Please also note that for studio courses that list both I and II sections (for example 212 A/I and 212B/II), the B or II listings do not indicate additional available slots in the classes. The II sections exist only to allow students who have already taken a course (the A/I section) to take it a second time. Students enrolled by faculty permission in the studio B/II sections are counted within the total overall course limit, usually 15 or 18.
We encourage students thinking about a major in East Asian Studies to begin language study as soon as possible (Chinese 101 or Japanese 101) and to enroll in Asia 110, East Asia between Tradition and Modernity. Asia 110, offered in the winter semester, introduces students to the civilizations of East Asia and complements the interests of students learning Chinese or Japanese language. This year, the Asian Studies Program is also offering two first-year seminars: FYS 435. The Soft Power of Pop Culture: An Introduction to Japanese Visual Cultures, and FYS 439. A World Upturned: Cultures of Catastrophe in Japan.
Other portals to the major in East Asian Studies include a variety of culture, history or literature courses: Art and Visual Culture 234 (Chinese Visual Culture), Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243 (Buddhist Visual Worlds), Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 245 (Architectural Monuments of Southeast Asia), Asian Studies/History 171 (China and its Culture), Asian Studies/History 172 (Japan: Myths, Stereotypes, and Realities), Asian Studies/Japanese 125 (Japanese Literature and Society), Asian Studies/Religion 155 (Introduction to Asian Religions), Asian Studies/Religion 208 (Religions in China), Asian Studies/Religion 209 (Religions in Japan), Asian Studies/Chinese 207 (Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation), Chinese/Theatre 230 (Drama and Theater of China), English 121G (Asian American Women Writers), and INDS 255 (Modern Japanese Women Writers and Film Makers).
Prospective Biological Chemistry Majors should take Chemistry 107 (A or B) in the fall and both Chemistry 108 (A or B) and Biology 190 in the winter semester of their first year; it is not necessary to take a Biology class in the first semester. Students should also take Math 105 and 106 (unless a student places out of Math 105 per the recommendation of the Math department). Students with AP or IB credit should check the policies of the appropriate department to determine course placement; Chemistry 217 is not open to first-year students. Please contact the Program Chair Paula Schlax (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Students considering a major in Biology should take Chemistry 107 (A or B) in the fall of the first year, and Chemistry 108 (A or B) and Bio 190 in the winter of the first year. Completing these requirements during the first year is important for staying on track in the Biology major. It allows students to complete the remainder of the Biology ‘core’ courses during the second year, makes it more feasible to spend a junior semester abroad, and allows greater flexibility in choosing courses in the advanced Biology curriculum. First year students planning to complete a B.S. degree may wish to consider the Calculus sequence sometime during the first year (unless the student places out of Math 105 per the recommendations of the Mathematics Department).
First year potential Biology majors normally begin the required Biology ‘core’ course with Biology 190 in the winter of the first year (regardless of AP Biology experience), then continue with Biology 242 (fall) and Biology 270 (winter) in the second year. Please note that Biology 190 is a prerequisite for many upper-level Biology courses, and is not offered in the fall semester. In addition to taking the required Biology 190 in the first year, the first year student may wish to take one additional 100-level Biology course during the first year. Such an additional 100-level Biology course is optional (not required), and may count toward the major requirement of 10 courses. Because these 100-level topical courses allow students to explore Biology’s diverse curriculum, many seats in these courses are reserved for first year students. Take note and take advantage because this means that it can be difficult to enroll in these courses after the first year!
It is recommended that students considering a major in Chemistry take Chemistry 107 (A or B), Chemistry 108 (A or B) and Calculus during the first year. Chemistry 107A/B is only offered in the fall semester. The A and B sections of Chemistry 107 and 108 are equivalent, both are equally appropriate for students interested in medical or graduate school. Students should take whichever section fits their interests and schedule. We generally recommend that most students with AP or IB credit take Chemistry 107 and use their credit toward Chemistry 108. Those students with AP or IB credit who feel extremely prepared in chemistry are encouraged to take Chemistry 215 instead of Chemistry 107 in the fall. Chemistry 217 is not open to first year students. Any questions, please email the Department Chair, Jennifer Koviach-Côté (email@example.com).
See under Asian Studies
Classical & Medieval Studies:
Students interested in the classical and medieval worlds may choose from a variety of entry-level courses. We offer introductory courses such as Introduction to the Ancient World (CM/HI 100), Introduction to Classical and Medieval Studies (CM/EN 103), Medieval Europe (CM/HI 102), Roman Civilization: The Empire (CM/HI 109 in winter semester), The Many Lives of King Arthur (CM/EN 121), Chaucer (CM/EN 206), Introduction to Hebrew Bible (CM/RE 235), Introduction to the New Testament (CM/RE 236), Art of the Middle Ages (AV/CM 252), Islam in a Global Context (CM/RE 264), and Ancient Greek Philosophy (CM/PL 271). We warmly invite all interested students to participate in our lively classes in beginning Greek and Latin (Greek 101, Latin 101). Alternatively, please email Latin faculty for the fall, Margaret Imber or Henry Walker, to determine which class is right for you, if you have taken Latin in high school.
Most students who intend to major in economics take Economics 101, Economics 103, and Mathematics 105 (Calculus) during the first year. First-year students may also take Statistics. The ordering of these courses over the first and second semesters is not important—you may take Economics 103 before or after you take Economics 101. Details about majoring in economics are available on the Economics Department Web Site at http://www.bates.edu/x25884.xml.
Though students cannot major in Education at Bates, there are two minors available, one of which leads to teacher certification. First Year students are welcomed whether they are considering teaching someday or are interested in learning more about schooling from a variety of disciplinary and thematic perspectives. Many first year students elect Education 231, Perspectives on Education, which is offered in both fall and winter terms. Education courses include a field placement in a local school, organization or educational setting. The department offers a First-Year Seminar entitled Exploring Education Through Narrative, which also gives first year students an opportunity to do fieldwork in the local community. Students who are interested in learning more about the Education Department programs or eventually pursuing a minor in Education may read more about the department by picking up a brochure in the Education Lounge (316 Pettengill) or looking at the Education Department Web site under Bates Academic Departments.
Prospective majors are urged to take at least one of the Colloquia in Literature (English 121) during their first year. One course at the 100 level is required for admission by majors and non-majors to courses at the 200 level. In accordance with College policy, the department grants one course-credit for Advanced Placement scores of four or five, but these credits do not count toward the eleven-course English major requirement. For this fall, relevant courses in English would be: AAEN 114, African American Literature I, ENG 117 Art of the Novella, ENG 121L Modern Short Stories, and ENG 143 Nineteenth-Century American Literature.
Students interested in majoring in environmental studies must complete a set of core courses and a focused concentration within environmental studies. Students should take one or more of the core courses open to first-year students (ENVR 203, 204 and 205). ENVR 203, Scientific Approaches to Environmental Issues, and ENVR 204, Environment and Society, will be offered in the winter. ENVR 205, Lives in Place, will be offered in the fall and winter. In addition, students are advised to look at the range of requirements for the various concentrations. Students interested in the environmental studies concentrations that emphasize the sciences (e.g., ecology, geology, chemistry, health) are particularly encouraged to take Chemistry 107B in the fall and Chemistry 108B in the winter as these courses are purposefully designed to meet the needs of environmental studies majors and also count in natural science majors that require chemistry. More detailed information on the major is available on the program web page. http://www.bates.edu/environment/
French and Francophone Studies
Students considering a major or minor in French and Francophone Studies should consult the requirements in the College Catalog and contact the chair of the department Alexandre Dauge-Roth (firstname.lastname@example.org). Although it is possible to major by beginning language study at Bates, most students arrive with solid preparation in the language and begin work immediately in advanced intermediate language and culture courses, such as French 205 (Oral French), 207 and 208 (the cultures of contemporary France and the Francophone world), 235 (Advanced French Language) or French 250 and 251 (Introduction to French Literature). (Note that 208 and 251 are offered in the Winter semester.) Some students choose French 201 for a review of grammar before moving to higher level courses. Potential majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad, whether on a department sponsored short term unit or during a semester or year abroad on an approved program.
Students interested in French and Francophone Studies are encouraged to take the on line self-placement at: http://www.bates.edu/french-placement-form.xml.
Please note that French 101-102 is reserved for true beginners in the language. Those with more than two years of secondary school study are not admitted at this level and are encouraged to enter at the 200 level. Students may self-place in courses in French during the enrollment period for first-year students using the on line placement test.
It is recommended that students considering a major in geology or considering a General Education Concentration (GEC) involving geosciences courses take one or more introductory geology courses during the first year. Introductory courses include: GEO103 Earth Surface Processes; GEO104 Plate Tectonics; GEO107 Katahdin to Acadia: Field Geology in Maine; GEO109 Global Change. All GEO 100-level courses may be used to satisfy the S, Q, or L components of the general education requirements. Courses cross-listed with other departments and open to first-year students include: GE/PH120 The Unexpected Earth; AT/GE110 Lunar and Planetary Science; AT/GE115 Impacts and Mass Extinctions; and BI/GE Oceanography. Students considering a major in geology are encouraged to take CHEM107A or CHEM107B in the fall semester.
GECs that have a strong geoscience component include: The Geosphere; Hazards in Nature; Field Studies-Natural Science; Water and Society; Environment, Place, History; and Science Education.
If you need more information about the Geology major, the General Education Concentrations, or the Environmental Geology Concentration within the Environmental Studies major, please contact Mike Retelle (email@example.com), Chair of the Geology department.
German and Russian Studies:
Students considering studying German or Russian at Bates should keep in mind that a significant percentage of our majors and minors begin their study of these languages here. Students wishing to begin study of the German language should enroll in German 101 in the fall semester. Students wishing to begin study of Russian should enroll in Russian 101 in the fall semester. Please note that German 101 and Russian 101 are only offered during the fall semester. It is not possible to start these languages during the winter semester.
Students who have had German or Russian in secondary school may apply to enter German 201 or 233 or Russian 201. Students who will arrive at Bates with previous knowledge of the language should complete the language placement questionnaire with as much detail as possible and are encouraged to consult with a member of the language faculty regarding appropriate placement.
Courses in translation – taught in English – are open to first years.
Students considering a major in History, even if they have advanced placement credit, are advised to start with any one of the courses numbered in the 100’s. These courses offer introductions to major themes in the history of the United States, Europe, East Asia, and Latin America.
Two professors will be offering First-Year Seminars this fall: Gwen Lexow (“Into the Woods: Rewriting Walden“) and Gerald Bigelow (Archaeology of the Celtic World).
A history major can also begin with a more specialized 200-level course, for which there are usually no prerequisites. Potential majors should note that the Historical Methods course (History 199) is expected in the Winter semester of their sophomore year.
See under Asian Studies
Students Wishing to Satisfy the [Q] Requirement: There are [Q] courses in many departments and programs. Garnet Gateway allows you to search for these: try the “Schedule of Courses” link from the login page. The Mathematics Department typically offers one or more non-calculus-track [Q] courses each year. These include MATH 101 (Working with Data), MATH 102 (Mathematics Across the Sciences), and MATH 110 (Great Ideas in Mathematics).
Students Requiring Calculus and Beyond: The first math course a student takes depends on his or her background. In most cases, it will be MATH 105 (Calculus I), 106 (Calculus II), 205 (Linear Algebra), or 206 (Multivariable Calculus). Here are some common situations:
1.) If you have AP, IB, or A-level credit for just MATH 105 (Calculus I), sign up for MATH 106 (Calculus II).
2.) If you also have AP, IB, or A-level credit for MATH 106 (Calculus I), sign up for MATH 205 (Linear Algebra).
3.) Even if you do not have official credit, if you have a strong background in calculus, we urge you to sign up for the next level after what you have completed. Successful completion of MATH 106 (Calculus II) fulfills any Bates requirements for MATH 105 (Calculus I). Successful completion of MATH 206 fulfills any Bates requirements for both MATH 105 (Calculus I) and MATH 106 (Calculus II).
4.) Students with moderate or more calculus experience on their high school transcript are normally not permitted to enroll in Math 105. These students will be permitted to enroll in PHYS 107 without having official Bates credit for MATH 105.
5.) If you are planning to apply to medical school, consult this list of mathematics requirements for U.S. medical schools.
In general, we encourage you to not repeat a course you have already taken and understood. Some students find repeating a course boring and unmotivating. Others have difficulty learning similar material from a different textbook. Additionally, you must give up your AP/IB/A-level math credit before you can sign up for a course in which you have already earned credit.
Please take our non-binding, anonymous placement exam (http://abacus.bates.edu/~etowne/PlacementExam.htm) and read our Calculus Questions page (http://www.bates.edu/mathematics/academics/calculus-questions/) to further assess which course best suits you. If you have further questions, contact Eric Towne (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Students Considering a Math Major: All math majors take MATH s21, a Short Term course affectionately known as “Math Camp,” which teaches how to think like a mathematician and is a prerequisite to some required higher level courses. It’s best to take this class at the end of your first year.
The Music Department offers two entry courses for the study of music theory: Music 231 in the fall for students who have some skill in reading musical notation and Music 101 in the fall and winter for those who do not. Students who are interested but not sure which course is right for them should go to the first class meeting of a Music 231 section in September and get advice and placement from the instructor. Those with substantial theory experience may be able to place out of Music 231 and start at a higher level, but most students benefit by starting the study of college-level music theory with that course. Students who think of majoring or minoring in music should begin the study of music theory as soon as possible. Two music courses without pre-requisite are open to first-year students in the fall semester: Introduction to Ethnomusicology (Music 212) and African American Popular Music (AA/MU 249). There is also one First-Year Seminar in music this fall. In the winter semester, Introduction to Listening (Music 101) is also available without prerequisite. Students who want to study an instrument or voice for credit (Applied Music—Music 270) may do so by requesting permission of John Corrie. Please see the Catalog for the special conditions that pertain to this course. Students who participate in faculty-directed musical ensembles may register for those ensembles as half-credit courses (Music 290). Permission of the director of the ensemble, usually given after an audition, is needed to register. Four other courses are open to first-year students with the permission of the instructor or upon completing a pre-requisite: Music Composition (Music 235), Jazz Performance Workshop (Music 222), and Computers, Music, and the Arts (Music 237) in the fall; and Classical Music in Western Culture (Music 210) in the winter.
Students interested in Neuroscience as a possible major are advised to take CHEM 107 (A or B) and either PSYC 101 or a relevant 100-level Biology course in their first (fall) semester. In the second (winter) semester, it is recommended that prospective majors take BIO 190 and CHEM 108 (A or B) and Introduction to Neuroscience (NS/PY 200; which requires either PSYC 101, a 100-level BIO course, or a score of 4 or 5 on the Bio or Psych AP exam from high school, as a prerequisite). This will enable students to take the required Organic Chemistry (CHEM 217 & 218) and BIO 242 and perhaps one or more of the three required Neuroscience course (BI/NS 308, NS/PY 330, and NS/PY 363) in their second year. If a student waits until their second year to take the Chemistry 107/108 sequence or to take NS/PY 200 or BIO 190, it will still be possible to major in Neuroscience, but this may limit subsequent curricular options, including going abroad.
There are multiple entry-level courses, both 100-level and 200-level, that provide an excellent introduction to Philosophy at Bates. PHIL 150, Introduction to Philosophy, provides an overview of philosophical issues. PHIL 1XX, Human Nature, provides an introduction to competing conceptions of human nature and political philosophy. PHIL 112, Contemporary Moral Disputes, focuses on particular moral issues and the ethical arguments provoked by them. Students are also encouraged to start out with 200-level Philosophy courses that focus on particular problems of philosophical interest, for example, PHIL 211 Philosophy of Science, PHIL 213 Biomedical Ethics, ES/PL 214 Environmental Ethics, PHIL 235 Philosophy of Mind, PHIL 236 Theory of Knowledge, PHIL 256 Moral Philosophy, PHIL 257 Moral Luck, PHIL 258 Philosophy of Law, PHIL 260 Philosophy of Religion, or PHIL 262 Philosophy and Feminism. Beginning students, especially potential majors, can get a good sense of the historical development of the current philosophical context by taking CM/PH 271, Ancient Greek Philosophy, or PHIL 272, Philosophy from Descartes to Kant. Finally, although critical reading, thinking, and writing skills are developed in all philosophy classes, PHIL195, Introduction to Logic, provides a more focused study of proper reasoning that is beneficial to majors and non-majors alike.
Students who anticipate majoring in physics or pursuing the Liberal Arts-Engineering Dual Degree Plan normally take Physics 107 (Classical Physics) and Physics 108 (Modern Physics) during the first year, beginning with Physics 107 in the fall semester. Prospective majors can also begin this sequence in the second year, with the caveat that it leaves little time to take many elective courses beyond the minimum major requirements. Note that Physics 107 requires a semester of calculus, Mathematics 105, as a pre- or co-requisite. Students with a strong high school background in physics and mathematics, especially those with AP credit, should consider enrolling in the first-year seminar FYS 274 (Physics in the Twentieth Century) and/or Physics 211 (Newtonian Mechanics) and are encouraged to discuss this option with the department Chair. FYS 274 is a calculus-based introduction to modern physics that is equivalent to Physics 108.
Those considering the medical profession are advised not to skip Physics 107 and should speak with a member of the Medical Studies Committee. Students entering in January with a strong background in physics may be able to register for Physics 108 and/or Physics 222 (Electricity, Magnetism and Waves) and should consult the department Chair.
First-year students with an interest in studying politics begin with a 100-level course in the Fall or Winter. Students with a sufficient background in the study of politics may also consider taking a 200-level course. The department strongly encourages incoming students to take a first-year seminar, and we also encourage our students to work toward mastery of a second language. Prospective Politics majors should keep in mind that the department requires students to take s49: Political Inquiry during Short Term of either sophomore or junior year. A great many of our students study off campus during junior year. If you plan to do so, please talk with the department chair and your major advisor by early in sophomore year in order to map the progression of courses in the major.
Students should begin a psychology major with Principles of Psychology (Psychology 101), which is taught in both the fall and winter semesters. Prospective majors are advised to take a 200-level course in one of the four content areas in our major the following semester. (See the College Catalog for information on those four content areas.) Prospective majors are also advised to take Statistics (Psychology 218) during their sophomore year. This is because it is a prerequisite for our methods courses (PSYC 261 or ED/PY 262), one of which must be taken before senior year. Students planning to go abroad during their junior year should consult with an advisor in the Psychology department as soon as possible. Students who have high school course experience in psychology, but who did not take the Advanced Placement exam, may opt out of Principles of Psychology by taking an exam for Psychology 101 (selected by the departmental faculty) and earning a 70% or higher on it. See the Chair about this option as soon as possible.
As first-year students with an interest in the study of Religion, there are a number of new courses being offered at the 100-level: FYS 421-Sacred Sounds, Religious Music, REL 112-Introduction to Islam: Religion, Practice and Culture, REL 120-Introduction to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism of the Middle East: Texts, Institutions and Law. You need not restrict your choices to courses at the 100-level. You are equally welcome to take any of our 200-level courses that have no prerequisites. These courses introduce students to a single religious tradition (e.g. AS/RE 249—the Hindu Tradition, REL 264—the Islamic Tradition, or REL 235—Ancient Israel), or to the importance of a particular text or topic (RE/WS 207—Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, or REL 260 Philosophy of Religion). Any one can serve as an introductory-level course to the field, and all can potentially count towards the fulfillment of several General Education concentrations. Religious Studies at Bates is an interdisciplinary enterprise that provides a good focus for an integrated introduction to the humanities.
RHET 100. What is Rhetoric? Although the oldest discipline, rhetoric may be the least understood. Aristotle defined rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” In this course, students conduct a historical survey of rhetorical theory from classical times to the present. Rhetorical artifacts examined include political speeches, television programs, print advertisements, editorials, music, film, and Internet sites. Required of all majors. Enrollment limited to 30. [W1] Normally offered every year.
AA/RH 162. White Redemption: Cinema and the Co-optation of African American History. Since its origins in the early twentieth century, film has debated how to represent black suffering. This course examines one aspect of that debate: the persistent themes of white goodness, innocence, and blamelessness in films that are allegedly about black history and culture. Historical and cultural topics examined in film include the enslavement of Africans, Reconstruction, and the civil rights movement. Particular attention is given to films in the interracial male-buddy genre. Course designated as [W2] beginning Fall 2009. [W2] Normally offered every year.
RHET 185. Public Discourse. This course is designed to develop an awareness of and skill in the techniques needed by a speaker in varying situations, from the large gathering to the small group. Students analyze and compose public speeches on various political issues. Enrollment limited to 24. Normally offered every year.
First-year students interested in pursuing a major in sociology can begin their exploration of the discipline with any 100-level course and with most of our 200-level courses. In Fall 2014 we will offer Soc.101 – Introduction to Sociology. We will also offer two 200-level courses: Soc. 250 – “Privilege, Power and Inequality” and Soc. 201 – “Crime, Justice and Society.” In Winter 2015, we will offer Soc. 101 – “Principles of Sociology” and Sociology 102 – “Microsociology,” as well as two 200-level courses: Soc. 230 – “Sociology of Health and Illness” and Soc. 256 – “Social Movements.” Additional information on the major in sociology is available from the Department Chair, Professor Heidi Taylor (267 Pettengill Hall, e-mail: email@example.com.
For the Fall semester of 2014, entering students should consider these courses:
THEA 101. An Introduction to Drama: Theater and Film. A survey of the nature and history of drama on stage and in motion pictures. Beginning with a discussion of action, plot, and character, the course moves on to consider the elements of theatrical performance—including acting, directing, and design—as well as important plays from the Greeks to the present. These may include works by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, and Beckett. It then shifts focus to film, examining the elements of mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound, and concluding with a study of major films from the silent era to the twenty-first century. These may include works by Chaplin, Wells, Bergman, Hitchcock, Scorsese, and David Lynch. Normally offered every year.
THEA 132. Theater Technology. This course provides a look “behind the curtain” to reveal the secrets of theater magic. Students learn the geography of the stage, how scenery is built, how lighting works, what hardware is right for the job, and how to handle tools safely. Many of the skills learned in this class are basic ones and will be useful in everyday life. This is a hands-on course; all students participate in preparing theater department productions. Enrollment limited to 14. Normally offered every other year.
THEA 242. Screenwriting. This course presents the fundamentals of screenwriting: plot, act structure, character development, conflict, dialogue, and format. Lectures, writing exercises, and analyses of films such as Happiness, American Beauty, and Sleepless in Seattle provide the student with the tools to create a short screenplay. Prerequisite(s): Theater 240. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting. This course introduces the student to the physiological processes involved in creative acting. The student learns the Stanislavski approach to the analysis of realistic and naturalistic drama. Exercises leading to relaxation, concentration, and imagination are included in an improvisational context. Studies in motivation, sense perception, and emotion-memory recall lead the student to beginning work on scene performance. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 16. Normally offered every semester.
THEA 263. Voice and Speech. Students examine the nature and working of the human voice. Students explore ways to develop the voice’s potential for expressive communication with exercises and the analysis of breathing, vocal relaxation, pitch, resonance, articulation, audibility, dialect, and text performance. Recommended background: one course in acting, performance, or public speaking. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. Normally offered every year.
THEA 370. Directing. An introduction to the art of directing, with an emphasis on creative and aesthetic problems and their solutions. Included is an examination of the director’s relationship to the text, the design staff, and the actor. The approach is both theoretical and practical, involving readings, rehearsal observation, and the directing of scenes and short plays. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): Theater 261. Open to first-year students. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year.
DANC 250. Early Modern Dance History. At the turn of the twentieth century modern dance emerged as an exciting new art form. From Isadora Duncan to the collaborations of Cage and Cunningham, modern dance has been deeply rooted in innovative exploration. This course focuses on the early dance pioneers, the ideas and conditions that informed their work, and their subsequent influences on the art world. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year.
DANC 270. Studio Dance. This series of studio courses provides instruction in a variety of dance practices. Dance 270 may be repeated. One-half credit is earned for each course completed. Students register for Dance 270A, 270B, 270C, or 270D, or 270E; the appropriate sequential course number (271–278) is recorded on the student’s transcript. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25.
Women and Gender Studies:
For students interested in learning about women and gender, we recommend, as one excellent point of entry, WGST 100, Introduction to Women and Gender Studies, offered in the fall semester. This course is designed to acquaint learners with issues, concepts, and methods that serve as a foundation for further study in the major as well as in other fields. Enrolling in WGST 100 early in the college career enables students to take the required methods course, INDS 250, in the sophomore year, which is especially important for anyone planning to pursue off-campus study in the junior year.
At the same time, there are many great alternative points of entry for students interested in Women and Gender Studies. Many 100-level and 200-level courses listed or cross-listed in WGS are open to first-year students during both the fall and winter semesters, including, in the winter, in the Winter, AA/WS 201, Race, Ethnicity, and Feminist Thought. Please see the current Catalog and online course schedule for a list of courses that count toward the major and minor, and feel free to contact the program chair, Rebecca Herzig (firstname.lastname@example.org), with further questions.