In the summer of 2001, Hamilton College, with Kirkland Project leadership, received a three-year institutional grant from the Hewlett Foundation to support the development of courses that consider "pluralism and unity." Kirkland Project sponsored sophomore seminars (below) are benefiting from this grant already. The Kirkland Project is proud to be the administrator of this grant at Hamilton. More information.
The Kirkland Project sponsors a first-year seminar titled "College 130: Coming of Age in America: Narratives of Difference." Through readings from a variety of disciplines including art, science, humanities and social science, the course explores what it means to come of age and what it means to be "American." Class discussions focus on differences of culture, race, class, gender and sexual orientation, examining coming of age as it relates to body, self, family, community, eduction and labor. Students are encouraged to work together with students different from themselves and attend special lectures, films and campus events; in addition they have the option of living together. The course emphasizes writing and discussion in a seminar setting. Students live near others taking the course and participate in out-of-class discussions in the residence halls. Many of the Kirkland Project special lecturers and performers speak as guests in the class.
Members of the faculty are looking for ways to build on the pedagogical innovations of College 130 for the new sophomore seminar program. The new curriculum provides a challenge to the mission of the Kirkland Project (there is no longer a diversity requirement since there are no distribution requirements) and an opportunity (each student must take one of these interdisciplinary seminars). To minimize the disadvantage and to take advantage of the possibility newly opened up, the Kirkland Project is developing a cluster of sections and courses around the broad topic of social movements. There will be several models: some of the sections will share an entire syllabus; others may be team-taught; others will share a common core of readings, then go into one movement (e.g. disability studies) in depth. They will share much, however, and we hope that that sharing will lead to greater faculty cohesiveness and excitement. For instance, all the sections will feature presentations to one another, share speakers, and focus on issues of inclusion/exclusion as they have been addressed by movements for social change. The first of these sophomore seminars was offered in spring 2003: SOPH 265, Social Movements: The Environment. Another cluster, SOPH 285, 1968: Year of Protest, was offered for the first time in 2003 -2004.
Women's Studies at Hamilton
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