In The People’s Stories: Art and Culture, students will establish foundational understandings in the ways cultures express their personal and collective beliefs and interactions with the natural world through the mediums of visual, performative, and literary arts. Specific attention will be given to the constructed ideas of democracy and interconnectedness and how these relate to our human, non-human and environmental relationships. Students will explore these ideas through written and oral traditions, photography, food craft, puppetry, improvisation, and community storytelling events.
Enrollment Requirements and Options:
The courses in this pod are integrated and students are strongly encouraged to enroll in both; however, exceptions can be made with instructor permission . Students in this pod can also TA a course or enroll in online courses, Senior Year Research Projects, and Independent Studies with instructor permission.
This pod includes the following courses:
Foundations of Environmental Humanities: Interconnected Web, Arts, and Democracy 3 cr
Foundations of Environmental Humanities considers a broad swath of cultural production — from poetry to podcast, from food consumption to policy, from the arts to democracy — to explore how cultural production both defines and reinscribes ideologies of the human and more than human landscapes. Focusing on the themes of interconnection, the arts, and democracy, we will investigate what it means to be working at the forefront of ecological thinking and action while interpreting, representing, and shaping our relationships with diverse places and cultures. This will enable us to consider the dynamic nature of cultural traditions, specifically through food, and their interactive relationship to the natural world. Throughout this course, students will be introduced to the fundamental tools and skills of Environmental Humanities as both a field and a transdisciplinary approach to the challenges we face in building more resilient and intentional relationships between all manner of human and non-human worlds.
Stories and Storytelling 3 cr
People of all cultures have relied on the telling and retelling of stories to transmit significant cultural understandings such as cosmology, ecology, spirituality, and social norms. This course will examine the ways in which cultures have used oral narratives throughout time and what functions such narratives serve today in the contemporary world. We will become familiar with a diversity of cultural groups across time and space and will explore how geography and beliefs have shaped both identity and the art of storytelling. We will read, listen, watch and share our own stories as we dive deeper into oral traditions. This course will culminate with an original production for the Sterling community.