Third-Year Experience

Core Year 3 Students on International Travel

In your third-year Core classes, you'll build serious skills in field research and data contextualization. From in-person observation to digital archiving, you'll explore the world and make connections using a wide variety of tools and methods.

Each major at Champlain is designed to allow a semester abroad in your third year—and some majors can accommodate a full year of global exploration. Our campuses in Dublin and Montreal provide a seamless study-abroad experience, while numerous exchange and third-party programs open up a whole world of possibilities. If you spend a semester abroad through another program, you'll work with your international advisor to ensure your courses help you meet your academic goals.

COR 301 | Core Foundations: Connecting Place and Identity

Where we are shapes how we understand ourselves and each other. In this course, we will dig into the relationship between place and identity. We will learn how to think spatially, recognizing how one's identity is situated within and constructed through movement through different spaces—be they natural and built environments, rural and urban, or actual and virtual. COR 301 will help us understand the complex meanings of identity in a world defined by movement and change.

COR 302 | Field Methods

Field methods are a collection of practices used in the sciences, arts, and humanities to understand phenomena in situ or as it is happening in a specific time and place. In this course, we will apply one or more field methods to research a topic, theme, or question that varies by section. We will learn practices associated with research in the field, including but not limited to participant observation, data collection, and experimentation in order to navigate an uncontrolled environment. We will also examine the power dynamics between the researcher, informant, and subject matter to help us understand how, if not practiced ethically, field methods can create or reinforce biases rather than help us learn with and make sense of the world around us.

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Jonathan Banfill

Burlington sees and markets itself as a creatively vibrant place, long attracting grassroots artists, makers, musicians, designers, and other unique creatives who work at the local scale. Yet, at the same time, Burlington is also growing as a hub for a larger scale of creative and tech industries, with further aspirations in this direction currently being implemented in the city and regional infrastructure. Such aspirations will no doubt change the overall vibe of the city, with contestations around issues like gentrification and displacement of local artists already appearing.

This course will examine how these changes unfold and who and what they will affect, via the tools of urban research, participant observation, and design ethnography. Over the semester, students will learn and practice place-based research skills and build fieldwork projects that document the people, spaces, and places that make Burlington a creative city. 

Link to this FAQ

Jonathan Banfill

Burlington sees and markets itself as a creatively vibrant place, long attracting grassroots artists, makers, musicians, designers, and other unique creatives who work at the local scale. Yet, at the same time, Burlington is also growing as a hub for a larger scale of creative and tech industries, with further aspirations in this direction currently being implemented in the city and regional infrastructure. Such aspirations will no doubt change the overall vibe of the city, with contestations around issues like gentrification and displacement of local artists already appearing.

This course will examine how these changes unfold and who and what they will affect, via the tools of urban research, participant observation, and design ethnography. Over the semester, students will learn and practice place-based research skills and build fieldwork projects that document the people, spaces, and places that make Burlington a creative city. 

Link to this FAQ

Aziz Fatnassi

In this course you will engage with the basics of food studies and field work via a wide variety of methods and practices used by social scientists and humanities scholars. You will gain practical experience in the traditional tools of ethnographic research, including participant observation, interview techniques, surveys/questionnaires, focus groups, and mapping. Methods that complement traditional ethnographic tools, such as spatial analysis, will be introduced and discussed. Your task will be to develop and carry out a research project related to public markets and/or food cultures around the world, while engaging the same topic in either Burlington or Montreal. 

Link to this FAQ

Aziz Fatnassi

In this course you will engage with the basics of food studies and field work via a wide variety of methods and practices used by social scientists and humanities scholars. You will gain practical experience in the traditional tools of ethnographic research, including participant observation, interview techniques, surveys/questionnaires, focus groups, and mapping. Methods that complement traditional ethnographic tools, such as spatial analysis, will be introduced and discussed. Your task will be to develop and carry out a research project related to public markets and/or food cultures around the world, while engaging the same topic in either Burlington or Montreal. 

Link to this FAQ

Aziz Fatnassi

In this course you will engage with the basics of food studies and field work via a wide variety of methods and practices used by social scientists and humanities scholars. You will gain practical experience in the traditional tools of ethnographic research, including participant observation, interview techniques, surveys/questionnaires, focus groups, and mapping. Methods that complement traditional ethnographic tools, such as spatial analysis, will be introduced and discussed. Your task will be to develop and carry out a research project related to public markets and/or food cultures around the world, while engaging the same topic in either Burlington or Montreal. 

Link to this FAQ

Rowshan Nemazee

Transformation and justice are among the largest megatrends of the 21st century. How can we be more involved? Non-profits broach on or engage in many aspects of our lives. We may choose to ignore them or to immerse ourselves more fully with those that touch us most profoundly. In this course, we will use field methods to immerse ourselves more deeply into non-profits in the Burlington area.

Link to this FAQ

Rowshan Nemazee

Transformation and justice are among the largest megatrends of the 21st century. How can we be more involved? Non-profits broach on or engage in many aspects of our lives. We may choose to ignore them or to immerse ourselves more fully with those that touch us most profoundly. In this course, we will use field methods to immerse ourselves more deeply into non-profits in the Burlington area.

Link to this FAQ

Kerry Noonan

Yoga? Tarot cards? Meditation? Many people today say they are "spiritual, but not religious," and engage in a variety of spiritual practices. In this class, we will use ethnographic fieldwork to learn about such people in the greater Burlington area. What do such people do, and what ideas do they hold? How do these people fit into the broader landscape of American religiosity?

Studying people "in the field" gives us a chance to gather information directly by interviews and observation, and analyze what we observe and learn from them, while combining this research data with prior research by scholars to gain a broader understanding. We'll work with research methods from the social sciences, applying them to local groups and practitioners.

Link to this FAQ

Kerry Noonan

Yoga? Tarot cards? Meditation? Many people today say they are "spiritual, but not religious," and engage in a variety of spiritual practices. In this class, we will use ethnographic fieldwork to learn about such people in the greater Burlington area. What do such people do, and what ideas do they hold? How do these people fit into the broader landscape of American religiosity?

Studying people "in the field" gives us a chance to gather information directly by interviews and observation, and analyze what we observe and learn from them, while combining this research data with prior research by scholars to gain a broader understanding. We'll work with research methods from the social sciences, applying them to local groups and practitioners.

Link to this FAQ

Stephen Wehmeyer

We are the way we play. We can learn as much (and frequently more) from watching a community at play as we can from watching it at work. From Oktoberfest to Burning Man, Comic-Con to Coachella, festivals are striking intersections of different forms of expressive culture—times and spaces in which performance, ritual, art, food, music, social commentary, and narrative history all come together. Festivals are inherently interdisciplinary and inherently multi-media.

Festival is the means by which a culture or a community tells itself (and outsiders) its own unique story. Festivals are also zones of resistance, where marginalized populations are given voice. This course will introduce students to the tools and techniques of field-based ethnographic research through hands-on, participant-observation experience, as well as through the analysis and evaluation of published accounts of field studies focused on festivals that express ethnic, regional, and inter-cultural identities throughout time and around the world. 

Link to this FAQ

Stephen Wehmeyer

We are the way we play. We can learn as much (and frequently more) from watching a community at play as we can from watching it at work. From Oktoberfest to Burning Man, Comic-Con to Coachella, festivals are striking intersections of different forms of expressive culture—times and spaces in which performance, ritual, art, food, music, social commentary, and narrative history all come together. Festivals are inherently interdisciplinary and inherently multi-media.

Festival is the means by which a culture or a community tells itself (and outsiders) its own unique story. Festivals are also zones of resistance, where marginalized populations are given voice. This course will introduce students to the tools and techniques of field-based ethnographic research through hands-on, participant-observation experience, as well as through the analysis and evaluation of published accounts of field studies focused on festivals that express ethnic, regional, and inter-cultural identities throughout time and around the world. 

Link to this FAQ

Kristin Wolf

In this section of COR 302, we will explore the layers of an ecosystem from bedrock geology to the impacts of land use policy and cultural perspectives. Using methods from the environmental and ecological sciences, we will study the rocks, soils, water, biological communities, and ecosystem functions and eventually broaden our perspective to understand the human systems (economic, political, and cultural) that shape and reflect the local landscape.

The course will offer a holistic perspective on the environment from the large-scale changes of geologic time to the recent impacts of humans, as we build foundational skills in conducting fieldwork to ground knowledge. Join us for hands-on outdoor fieldwork and thought-provoking class discussions as we examine, experience, and enjoy the landscape we seek to know.

Link to this FAQ

Jonathan Banfill

Burlington sees and markets itself as a creatively vibrant place, long attracting grassroots artists, makers, musicians, designers, and other unique creatives who work at the local scale. Yet, at the same time, Burlington is also growing as a hub for a larger scale of creative and tech industries, with further aspirations in this direction currently being implemented in the city and regional infrastructure. Such aspirations will no doubt change the overall vibe of the city, with contestations around issues like gentrification and displacement of local artists already appearing.

This course will examine how these changes unfold and who and what they will affect, via the tools of urban research, participant observation, and design ethnography. Over the semester, students will learn and practice place-based research skills and build fieldwork projects that document the people, spaces, and places that make Burlington a creative city. 

Link to this FAQ

Kerry Noonan

In this class, we will define folk art as folklorists do: the artistry that people display in their everyday lives. You will learn to do fieldwork, going into our Burlington community, to examine and analyze things people make, alter, and use, which have an aesthetic component, and to which they attribute meanings. We will use theories from folkloristics to understand how these objects embody both personal and communal aesthetics, and express identity. We will examine things like room decor, clothing choices, bumper stickers, tattoos, graffiti, holiday decorations, cloth art, jewelry, food presentation, cosplay outfits, etc., as you learn to use fieldwork as a research tool.

Link to this FAQ

COR 303 | Core Foundations: Connecting Past and Present

By learning from the past, we can make sense of the present and prepare for the future. In this course, we will learn how the 21st century has been and continues to be shaped by past social practices, ethical frameworks, power relations, and discourses. COR 303 is a course about how we know what we know about the past, and the ways different narratives about the past shape the present. Making connections between past and present will help us better understand how to live and make decisions in a globalized world defined by constant change.

COR 304 | Digital Methods

Digital methods are widely used forms of inquiry that employ technological tools to interrogate research questions important to the humanities and sciences (including the social sciences). Some examples include digital archiving, data mining, and story mapping. In this course, we will use one or more digital methods or tools to research a topic, theme, or question that varies by section, with the express purpose of critiquing and reflecting on its application. This includes an examination of the values, flaws, and impacts of the methods or tools we are using, paying particular attention to their ethical implications and power dynamics.

COR 304 Digital Methods section descriptions coming soon!

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