HUMAN STUDIES all of these, and the elements encountered in this section of Classic Shorts will lead into discussions meteorological, contemplative, and literary. What happens if the sky starts raining yellow dust fallout or pollen? Who is or isn’t on the Moscow train the summer a family lives in a village house fifty feet from the railway station and why does this summer, this setting, matter? Bonfire conversations on a beach following an earthquake in Japan, lies that lead to truths and layers of memory in the chill of an Etruscan museum, dark storms and unexpected harvests in a Pakistani servant girl’s life, an Irish spring and the healing destinations of a priest on someone else’s wedding day — these are among the stories the class discovers and explores as architecture in this genre William Trevor calls, “the art of the glimpse... an explosion of truth... concerned with the total exclusion of meaninglessness” and which Margaret Atwood describes as, “a score for voice... keeping faith... with the language... told with as much intentness as if the teller’s life depended on it.” Seeing and articulating what we believe about how each story is made — its characters and landscapes, gestures and metaphors, the instincts and technical decisions behind every page is part of our daily weather. Students are expected to gather and develop critical inquiries story by story, with a midterm conference and final paper (original short story option encouraged) required. Evaluations are based on the attention to language as precision and possibility in this deliberately contained form — what level of risk, what quality of articulation, and follow through to see and shape a story? Students should come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse.
█ CLASSIC SHORTS: WHAT’S ON OUR PLATES Candice Stover Course limit: 15 Questions of appetite. Questions of sustenance. Questions of nurturing. What’s on Our Plates is filled with such questions, with food as primary source and sensual delight, with food as geography and climate, culture and economy, fact and metaphor. The short story writer who includes anything about what’s on plates also invites one to consider food memories and associations of every kind: where food comes from, who prepares it and how, who we do or don’t share it with, what grows where in a season of bounty, what’s absent in a time and place of deprivation, drought, violence. The stories read include a devastating announcement at a family luncheon in Brazil, the diets of a fat girl who hungers for love, what’s on the menu at a backyard restaurant in a mid level Haitian slum, a journey to a shrimp shack south (south!) of New Orleans, a
roof top job for a California grocery journey to a shrimp shack south (south!) of New Orleans, a roof top job for a California grocery store, an anorexic’s visit to a hammam in Paris, the slaughtering of a pig post Chernobyl, and a monkey in an Argentinean kitchen. The focus on this genre — the one William Trevor calls, “the art of the glimpse” — will also provide many different tastes of how writers develop a scene, simmer a metaphor, and serve us as readers discovering and naming some of fiction’s truths. Please come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse. Critical inquiries, midterm conference, and final paper (original short story option encouraged) required.
█ CLIMATE JUSTICE Doreen Stabinsky Cost: $10 Climate change is one of the largest and most difficult challenges faced by contemporary societies. The challenge has multiple facets: environmental, social, political, economic — each with its own complexities. This course focuses primarily on the social, political, and economic components of the climate problem, framed by the concept of climate justice. In the introductory section of the course students are introduced to basic conceptions of justice, the latest findings of climate science, and possible impacts on regional scales, as well as the ongoing intergovernmental climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Primarily, this course is dedicated to understanding the concept and implementation of climate justice: the costs of climate change and the efforts to address climate change could or should be distributed between rich and poor, global north and global south, and what are the possible means whereby those costs might be collectively addressed through an intergovernmental agreement. Students will be evaluated based on regular quizzes, several short papers, class participation, and a final synthetic paper or project.
█ COA’S FOODPRINT: OUR LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM Molly Anderson Course limit: 15 Cost: $25 The food supply for most cities and small towns in the United States depends on food raised as efficiently as possible, manufactured into forms that are less perishable, and shipped long distances from centralized warehouses. This food system is largely responsible for some of the nation’s largest and most troubling environmental and social challenges, from water pollution, to obesity, to climate change.
This is the College of the Atlantic Guidebook prospectus for 2014