COR 330 Class Descriptions

In the third year of Core, students who are not studying abroad enroll in any two COR 330 courses. The 330 courses, which vary from semester to semester, offer a "deep dive" into various regions of the world and give students the opportunity to choose topics of interest to them.

Take a look at what is offered for the Spring 2020 semester:


COR 330-01TVL: "Life" in the Amazon

Kristin Wolf | T/F 8:00–9:15 AM

The Amazon River Basin (ARB) is the most biodiverse place on Earth; it is also home to hundreds of human communities, making it a unique and appropriate setting to study the intersection of humanity and ecology. In this course we will explore, compare, and contrast various lifeways of human communities of the Peruvian Amazon along a gradient of the contested concept of “development”. With special-interest topics in tropical forest ecology, beekeeping with stingless bees, ecotourism, and community-driven development, this interdisciplinary course will explore how various communities perceive and interact with their respective environments; highlight the exceptional characteristics of the larger Amazon ecosystem; and investigate the effects of globalization, both past and present, on the landscape and peoples of the Amazon.

This course requires a two-week travel component to Iquitos, Peru and surrounds in July, which carries additional cost. Enrollment by instructor permission only.

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COR 330-02: ¡Pura Vida Costa Rica! - Ecology

Kristin Wolf | T, TH 12:30–1:45 PM

In 2016, Costa Rica was named “the most sustainably happy country in the world”. The country’s unofficial national motto, “Pura Vida”—which literally means “pure life” and figuratively means “don’t worry about it, it’s all good”—sums up Costa Rica’s winning mixture of environmental innovation and high quality of life. This team-taught COR 330 course would explore larger questions of happiness and sustainability by diving deep into an examination of Costa Rica’s sociopolitical and environmental successes, as well as the continuing challenges faced by this small and beautiful Central American republic. We’ll look at Costa Rica’s colonial and post-colonial history; its transformation into the world’s only “unarmed democracy”; its incredible ecosystems and pioneering environmental policies; the impact of tourism on its culture and traditional ways of life; and the factors that make part of Costa Rica a “blue zone” of extraordinary human longevity.

This course is not the same as "¡Pura Vida Costa Rica!: Policy". It can be taken on its own or (for those who wish to take a “deeper dive” into the land of Pura Vida) in conjunction with the "Policy" course.

Students enrolled in this section have the option of also enrolling in COR-332: Travel Experience in Costa Rica, and traveling to Costa Rica (at additional cost) with Champlain faculty and local guides during the summer. Contact Professor Kristin Wolf (kwolf@champlain.edu) for more details.

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COR 330-03: ¡Pura Vida Costa Rica! - Ecology

Kristin Wolf | T, F 11:00 AM–12:15 PM

In 2016, Costa Rica was named "the most sustainably happy country in the world". The country's unofficial national motto, "Pura Vida"-which literally means "pure life" and figuratively means "don't worry about it, it's all good"-sums up Costa Rica's winning mixture of environmental innovation and high quality of life. This team-taught COR 330 course would explore larger questions of happiness and sustainability by diving deep into an examination of Costa Rica's sociopolitical and environmental successes, as well as the continuing challenges faced by this small and beautiful Central American republic. We'll look at Costa Rica's colonial and post-colonial history; its transformation into the world's only "unarmed democracy"; its incredible ecosystems and pioneering environmental policies; the impact of tourism on its culture and traditional ways of life; and the factors that make part of Costa Rica a "blue zone" of extraordinary human longevity.

This course is not the same as "¡Pura Vida Costa Rica!: Policy". It can be taken on its own or (for those who wish to take a "deeper dive" into the land of Pura Vida) in conjunction with the "Policy" course.

Students enrolled in this section have the option of also enrolling in COR-332: Travel Experience in Costa Rica, and traveling to Costa Rica (at additional cost) with Champlain faculty and local guides during the summer. Contact Professor Kristin Wolf (kwolf@champlain.edu) for more details.

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COR 330-04: Dar al-Islam: Yemen

Gary Scudder | M, TH 9:30–10:45 AM

In the ancient world, Yemen was called Arabia Felix, which might be translated as "Happy Arabia", "Blessed Arabia", or "Fertile Arabia"—names that hardly seem to fit the nation that is the site of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Still, Yemen is a land rich in culture and history, and it was one of the first areas to accept Islam. Students in this section will explore the tenets of Islam through the lens of this fascinating country.

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COR 330-05: China 20/20

Jim Cross | W, F 3:30–4:45 PM

In rising to become the second-largest national economy, China has presented the world with a new model for modernization: accelerated capitalism combined with political authoritarianism. What cultural traditions, political ideologies, and geographic realities have shaped the “China Model”? Yet despite outward success, there are many barriers to that return to world preeminence, from resource scarcity to population pressures to political control, censorship, and economic dislocation. How will Chinese leaders and the Chinese people negotiate the challenges accompanying their continued economic ascent and political stability? Students will examine the cultural, political, and economic forces shaping China today, and use that background to explore the future of China in an area of their own choice.

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COR 330-06: China 20/20

Jim Cross | W, F 2:00–3:15 PM

In rising to become the second-largest national economy, China has presented the world with a new model for modernization: accelerated capitalism combined with political authoritarianism. What cultural traditions, political ideologies, and geographic realities have shaped the "China Model"? Yet despite outward success, there are many barriers to that return to world preeminence, from resource scarcity to population pressures to political control, censorship, and economic dislocation. How will Chinese leaders and the Chinese people negotiate the challenges accompanying their continued economic ascent and political stability? Students will examine the cultural, political, and economic forces shaping China today, and use that background to explore the future of China in an area of their own choice.

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COR 330-07: Arab Spring: Democracy Movements in the Modern Middle East

Aziz Fatnassi | TH 3:30–6:15 PM

This section will focus on the emergence of the so-called “Arab Spring” movements in the 21st century Middle East, with a specific focus on Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Students will learn the geography and culture of the modern Arab World, with a look at how Arab Spring movements emerged, and the consequences of the Arab Spring in both the Arab world and globally.

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COR 330-08: Arab Spring: Democracy Movements in the Modern Middle East

Aziz Fatnassi | T 3:30–6:15 PM

This section will focus on the emergence of the so-called “Arab Spring” movements in the 21st century Middle East, with a specific focus on Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Students will learn the geography and culture of the modern Arab World, with a look at how Arab Spring movements emerged, and the consequences of the Arab Spring in both the Arab world and globally.

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COR 330-09: Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors

Kerry Noonan | M 12:30–3:15 PM

Hungry ghosts, ancestor worship, the Kitchen God, Guanyin, Buddhism, Daoism, feng shui: all these are components of the folk religions of China. This course will examine the supernatural in China, looking at religions like Buddhism and Daoism as well as new religions such as Falung Gong. We will also consider supernatural beliefs, such as ghost tales, and ideas about the dead. How have these beliefs survived under half a century of official atheism? Now that religion is somewhat tolerated in China, what direction is it taking today?

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COR 330-10: Looking for Japan: A Cinematic Journey

Flavio Rizzo | W 9:30 AM–12:15 PM

Through courageous juxtapositions of cinematic texts and interdisciplinary readings, we will try to trace back some distinctive traits of the Japanese experience—from the contemplation of the transitory nature of life, Zen influences, and the role of modesty and ambiguity, all the way to the seeds of contemporary cultural dynamics like manga, anime, Otaku culture, and their offspring, such as owl cafes and capsule and love hotels. These themes will be placed against the backdrop of crucial Japanese issues: national trauma, gender conflicts, and aging. We will take a dynamic and curious stance starting from the Japanese film giant Yasujirō Ozu and his take on post-war Japan. As his masterful work slowly falls into the background of a fast-paced Japanese society, the meticulousness of his observations will become more and more prophetic projections when placed next to the contemporary films of Hirokazu Koreeda, Kōji Shiraishi, Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano, Kōji Wakamatsu, and Yôjirô Takita.

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COR 330-11: Looking for Japan: A Cinematic Journey

Flavio Rizzo | M 12:30–3:15 PM

Through courageous juxtapositions of cinematic texts and interdisciplinary readings, we will try to trace back some distinctive traits of the Japanese experience—from the contemplation of the transitory nature of life, Zen influences, and the role of modesty and ambiguity, all the way to the seeds of contemporary cultural dynamics like manga, anime, Otaku culture, and their offspring, such as owl cafes and capsule and love hotels. These themes will be placed against the backdrop of crucial Japanese issues: national trauma, gender conflicts, and aging. We will take a dynamic and curious stance starting from the Japanese film giant Yasujirō Ozu and his take on post-war Japan. As his masterful work slowly falls into the background of a fast-paced Japanese society, the meticulousness of his observations will become more and more prophetic projections when placed next to the contemporary films of Hirokazu Koreeda, Kōji Shiraishi, Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano, Kōji Wakamatsu, and Yôjirô Takita.

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COR 330-12: Looking for Japan: A Cinematic Journey

Flavio Rizzo | M 9:30 AM–12:15 PM

Through courageous juxtapositions of cinematic texts and interdisciplinary readings, we will try to trace back some distinctive traits of the Japanese experience—from the contemplation of the transitory nature of life, Zen influences, and the role of modesty and ambiguity, all the way to the seeds of contemporary cultural dynamics like manga, anime, Otaku culture, and their offspring, such as owl cafes and capsule and love hotels. These themes will be placed against the backdrop of crucial Japanese issues: national trauma, gender conflicts, and aging. We will take a dynamic and curious stance starting from the Japanese film giant Yasujirō Ozu and his take on post-war Japan. As his masterful work slowly falls into the background of a fast-paced Japanese society, the meticulousness of his observations will become more and more prophetic projections when placed next to the contemporary films of Hirokazu Koreeda, Kōji Shiraishi, Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano, Kōji Wakamatsu, and Yôjirô Takita.

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COR 330-13: Gender in Japan

Veruska Cantelli | W 9:30 AM–12:15 PM

In this section, we will embark into an interdisciplinary quest to try to understand the complexity of gender in Japan: voices, roles, and representations. We will read and discuss some of the foundational writings from women thinkers during the turn of the century; continue our journey through post-war Japan and the rise of radical feminist movements; and explore subculture experiments with gender boundaries in manga and some of the current debates on transgender representations in contemporary Japan. Although the main geographical subject of our study this semester will be Japan, we will try to delineate some of the points of correspondence and contention with western and non-western trajectories.

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COR 330-14: Gender in Japan

Veruska Cantelli | TH 9:30 AM–12:15 PM

In this section, we will embark into an interdisciplinary quest to try to understand the complexity of gender in Japan: voices, roles, and representations. We will read and discuss some of the foundational writings from women thinkers during the turn of the century; continue our journey through post-war Japan and the rise of radical feminist movements; and explore subculture experiments with gender boundaries in manga and some of the current debates on transgender representations in contemporary Japan. Although the main geographical subject of our study this semester will be Japan, we will try to delineate some of the points of correspondence and contention with western and non-western trajectories.

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COR 330-15: ¡Pura Vida Costa Rica! - Policy

Betsy Allen-Pennebaker | T, F 11:00 AM–12:15 PM

In 2016, Costa Rica was named “the most sustainably happy country in the world”. The country’s unofficial national motto, “Pura Vida”—which literally means “pure life” and figuratively means “don’t worry about it, it’s all good”—sums up Costa Rica’s winning mixture of environmental innovation and high quality of life. This team-taught COR 330 course will explore larger questions of happiness and sustainability by diving deep into an examination of Costa Rica’s sociopolitical and environmental successes, as well as the continuing challenges faced by this small and beautiful Central American republic. We’ll look at Costa Rica’s colonial and post-colonial history; its transformation into the world’s only “unarmed democracy”; its incredible ecosystems and pioneering environmental policies; the impact of tourism on its culture and traditional ways of life; and the factors that make part of Costa Rica a “blue zone” of extraordinary human longevity.

This course is not the same as "¡Pura Vida Costa Rica!: Ecology". It can be taken on its own or (for those who wish to take a “deeper dive” into the land of Pura Vida) in conjunction with the "Ecology" course.

Students enrolled in this section have the option of also enrolling in COR-332: Travel Experience in Costa Rica, and traveling to Costa Rica (at additional cost) with Champlain faculty and local guides during the summer. Contact Professor Kristin Wolf (kwolf@champlain.edu) for more details.

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COR 330-16: ¡Pura Vida Costa Rica! - Policy

Betsy Allen-Pennebaker | T, TH 12:30–1:45 PM

In 2016, Costa Rica was named "the most sustainably happy country in the world". The country's unofficial national motto, "Pura Vida"—which literally means "pure life" and figuratively means "don't worry about it, it's all good"—sums up Costa Rica's winning mixture of environmental innovation and high quality of life. This team-taught COR 330 course will explore larger questions of happiness and sustainability by diving deep into an examination of Costa Rica's sociopolitical and environmental successes, as well as the continuing challenges faced by this small and beautiful Central American republic. We'll look at Costa Rica's colonial and post-colonial history; its transformation into the world's only "unarmed democracy"; its incredible ecosystems and pioneering environmental policies; the impact of tourism on its culture and traditional ways of life; and the factors that make part of Costa Rica a "blue zone" of extraordinary human longevity.

This course is not the same as "¡Pura Vida Costa Rica!: Ecology". It can be taken on its own or (for those who wish to take a "deeper dive" into the land of Pura Vida) in conjunction with the "Ecology" course.

Students enrolled in this section have the option of also enrolling in COR-332: Travel Experience in Costa Rica, and traveling to Costa Rica (at additional cost) with Champlain faculty and local guides during the summer. Contact Professor Kristin Wolf (kwolf@champlain.edu) for more details.

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COR 330-17: Afrofuturism

Katheryn Wright | M 12:30–1:45 PM, W 9:30—10:45AM

Afrofuturism is a global cultural phenomenon that combines speculative fiction, technoculture, and the arts with black history and culture. Afrofuturism is also a philosophical and political framework that interrogates the intersection of science and technology located within the African diaspora. In this section, you will learn about Afrofuturism as a challenge to the historical legacies of European colonialism and American slavery, and its importance within contemporary popular culture in and outside of the United States. We will examine how Afrofuturism influences contemporary philosophical and aesthetic movements by positing an Afrocentric (rather than a Eurocentric) future. We’ll be listening to a lot of music, reading science fiction novels and short stories, watching movies and examining contemporary artwork inspired by Afrofuturism.

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