STATES IN THE 21ST CENTURY █ UNITED WORLD: END OF EMPIRE? Jamie McKown Course limit: 12 Cost: $100* This is a reading intensive course tied to the annual Camden Conference held in Camden, Maine. The three-day conference brings experts from all over the world to discuss a range of topics related to foreign policy, international relations, and diplomacy. Over the years, COA has developed a relationship with the conference that enables students to engage with the events over the three days. Every year highlights a particular theme, with new focused panel discussions, speakers, and readings. The topic of this year’s conference is “The United States in a 21st Century World: Do We Have What it Takes?” Some discussion sessions may involve the following questions: What does it take to be an economic superpower in the 21st century? What are likely threats the US faces in the twenty first century? Does American society have what it takes to be a twenty first century “world citizen?” Is the US still the “indispensible nation” to help resolve seemingly intractable problems? What do Americans need to remain competitive in the twenty first century? How secure is the energy future of the US? How does gridlock in Washington affect US foreign policy? What is the role of media in influencing foreign policy? This class is built to parallel the thematic cornerstones of this year’s Camden topic. We cover some of these topics in-depth as well as others. This is a discussion-based seminar that includes work from both the conference reading list as well as supplemental works. The goals of the class are twofold: to prepare students to attend and play an active role in the conference (attendance is a requirement) and provide them a background immersion in the topics of this year’s conference; and to assist students returning from the conference in critically integrating those experiences with course materials and their own particular research interests. Both students and faculty lead class discussions. Evaluations are based on written assignments, attendance and participation in class discussions, attendance at the conference, and a final written analysis of a particular topic related to the conference theme. Students interested in international relations, global politics, diplomacy, United States foreign policy, or economic development/trade policies are encouraged to enroll. Prior classes in foreign policy are not required. Students who have previously taken a Camden Conference course can also receive credit for this course and are encouraged to consider enrolling. *This course’s fee includes conference registration and lodging.
█ VOYAGES Bill Carpenter Course limit: 16 From prehistoric times, the journey into the unknown has been both a reality and a metaphor of human experience. This course follows the archetype of the voyage through major literary narratives and road movies. Written and class assignments draw from students’ own experience as travelers. Using Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces as a theoretical framework, we move on to Homer’s Odyssey (selections), Melville’s Moby Dick, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Woolf ’s To the Lighthouse, Peter Mattheissen’s Far Tortuga and the new “scroll” version of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. We’ll watch Apocalypse Now, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Stranger than Paradise, Powwow Highway, Wild at Heart, and The African Queen. Assignments include in class reports on students’ journeys and a nonfiction writing section on travel narrative.
█ WATER WORLDS: CULTURE & FLUIDITY Heath Cabot Course limit: 15 This advanced/ intermediate socio-cultural theory course examines human ecological relationships in a variety of watery spaces. In the humanities and social sciences, oceans, seas, rivers, and watersheds have recently emerged as particularly productive units of socio-cultural analysis. In contrast to the boundedness that can pervade area studies, these water worlds convey both the fluidity of cultural connections and the richness and detail of deep historical and ethnographic research. Moreover, water worlds help us consider people in their engagements with ecosystems and geographies. This course centers on a variety of watery regions, including the Mediterranean, the Pacific, the Amazon, the Caribbean, the Black Sea, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and human/ microbial relationships under the ocean. Topics addressed include: the constructing of regions, critical approaches to geography, alternatives to globalization theories, and postcolonial theory. The course is designed for students who want to hone their skills in socialcultural analysis and/or those interested in the topic itself. All students must be prepared to read and discuss dense, complex material in cultural studies and social theory; they should have background in learning to think and write analytically. Students are evaluated on participation in class discussion and on outside written assignments. Prerequisites: permission of instructor.
This is the College of the Atlantic Guidebook prospectus for 2014