Second Year Experience

In your second year at Champlain, you'll choose from a wide variety of Core classes. These classes each develop and expand on the skills you practiced in your first year, while introducing new concepts.

You'll choose two different Core courses in the fall semester and another two Core courses in the spring semester—you can browse the course sections below and read more by clicking on each section title.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

COR 210 | Scientific Revolutions

Original course:
The challenges of the 21st century demand an understanding of the nature and limitations of scientific thinking, the place of science within society, and its relationship to other forms of human thought and expression such as religion, art, and literature. This course will examine three major transformations of scientific ideas and their social and historical context, and will help students gain a broad understanding of the relationship of scientific ideas to other forms of thought and expression.

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Chuck Bashaw
Section 01 | Section 02

This section will focus partly on ideas and phenomena on the "fringe" of science, including UFOs, magic and the occult, and the paranormal and the supernatural. This section is part of a year-long cohort with Prof. Steve Wehmeyer's X-Files-themed section of COR-250 (The Secular & the Sacred), which will be offered in Spring 2021.

Students who enroll in this section of COR-210 commit to also enrolling in Prof. Wehmeyer's section of 250 in the spring. For this reason, registration in this section is only by permission of the instructor. Please contact Prof. Bashaw directly for permission to register for this class.

Link to this FAQ

David Leo-Nyquist
Section 03

This section focuses on the ongoing struggle in Europe and the U.S. between religious belief and unbelief and the emergence of a secular worldview.

Link to this FAQ

Robert Mayer
Section 04

Mike Lange
Section 05 | Section 06

Please see original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Kristin Wolf
Section 07 | Section 08

In this section, students will explore the concept of scientific literacy and its role in being a responsible citizen. Investigating the science of vaccines, GMOs, climate change, and other popular topics, students will see how science is communicated, applied, and in some cases, misunderstood by the time it reaches the general public.

Link to this FAQ

COR 220 | Aesthetic Expressions

Original course:
What is art? How do literature and music express both traditional and revolutionary ideas? This course will explore the nature of artistic, musical, and literary expression in the Western tradition. Students will analyze and discuss major artistic, musical, and literary accomplishments of Western culture and explore how the arts function as expressions of cultural ideals and as forces of challenge and transformation.

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Jen Berger
Section 01

This section will cover the politics of public art. Who is public space for? How does it matter how we use it?

Link to this FAQ

Joanne Farrell
Section 02

This section of Aesthetic Expressions will explore the nature of theatre in Western culture as a literary, visual, and performing art form. Studying the various arts that go into the making of theatre as entertainment, an instrument for education, a weapon for social and political change, or a documentary of history will allow us to examine how theatre functions as an expression of cultural ideals and as forces of challenge and transformation.

Link to this FAQ

Jeff Haig
Section 03 | Section 04

Cynthia Morgan
Section 05

Please see original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Rowshan Nemazee
Section 06SIS | Section 07SL

This section will focus exclusively on art, identity, and difference. We will probe questions related to beauty and diversity, and explore the aesthetics of the diasporic or marginalized. Our approach will be both interdisciplinary (through the use of diverse critical methodologies) and integrative (by considering the relationships between various markers of identity: race, gender, religion, socio-political constructs, and class).

Link to this FAQ

Melissa Proietti
Section 08 | Section 09

We will be analyzing these two forms of public in art in ways that seek to understand how social circumstances affect the ways that they are produced, the locations in which they appear, and audiences to which they appeal.

Link to this FAQ

Gary Scudder
Section 10 | Section 11 | Section 12

Artists have routinely found inspiration for their art in the pursuit of beauty, both physical and spiritual. Students in this class will explore different global understandings of beauty in paintings, sculpture, architecture, and music. In addition to focusing on Renaissance and Modern Art, students will explore the different aesthetic criteria of the African, Indian, Arabic, and East Asian worlds to provide broader context.

Link to this FAQ

Sandy Zale
Section 13 | Section 14 | Section 15

This section, which examines the arts in Western Europe in the medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Romantic periods, focuses on the arts of the past rather than those of the present. It stresses visual art and literary art, and it pays more attention to literature and less attention to music.

Link to this FAQ

COR 230 | Ethics & Environment

Original course:
The decisions humans make about the environment today will decide the fate of future generations. Understanding the relationship between humans and the environment, along with the ethical frameworks used to interact with and make decisions about the environment, is of paramount importance. This course will investigate the origins and evolution of environmental ethics, as well as the contributions of scientific research and aesthetic expression, to trace human perceptions of the environment throughout history and address today's environmental issues.

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Ed Cafferty
Section 01

Melissa Proietti
Section 02

Please see the original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Kristin Wolf
Section 03SIS | Section 04

In this section of COR 230, you will explore water-related topics including aquatic habitats, pollution, scarcity, and the ethics of owning, protecting, and distributing water. From local questions, like: Is Vermont effectively protecting its water resources? To global questions, such as: How will new climate realities reshape our world? This class will provide a framework for approaching water in an informed and ethical way.

Link to this FAQ

Jeanne Lieberman
Section 05

For this course, we will research and debate the ethical stances underlying our relationship to the land. We will consider the concrete ramifications of our abstract positions. Examples of concrete issues are: drought, hunger, invasive species of flora and fauna, GMOs, global corporate thuggery (Monsanto, Nestle, et al), national security, conspiracy theories, innovations, and how the logical, life-affirming techniques of permaculture can feed our bellies, exercise our imaginations, and nurture our spirits.

Link to this FAQ

Ariel Burgess
Section 51 | Section 52

Our human relationship to the earth has moved through many iterations. At times, human cultures aimed to dominate and control nature, and at others, humans thought of themselves as Earth's protectors. Throughout history, artists and their work have been intimately woven into the culture in which they live. Artists respond to their society, and help it evolve by articulating new ways of thinking, looking, responding, and being. Art can inspire action, celebrate beauty, break your heart, and help heal.

In this section, we will explore a breadth of environmental ethics and how artists have interacted with them. Through examples as old as creation myths to our contemporary attitude toward climate change, we will look at how a culture's ethics toward the environment today will shape the world we live in tomorrow. By looking at how artists deal with questions of our human relationship to the natural world, we will explore how the power of art can be used to develop environmental ethics that are healthy, holistic, sustainable, and just.

Link to this FAQ

COR 240 | Bodies

Original course:
From Neolithic fertility goddesses to contemporary piercings and tattoos, human cultures are inextricably entangled with ideas about the body. Perceptions and experiences of the body influence ethical debates about media representation, healthcare, and biotechnology. This course explores embodiment in the Western tradition: How do we know ourselves through our physical bodies? How are different types of bodies represented in our arts and media? And how does the body influence the way we think about the world?

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Jen Berger
Section 01 | Section 02

In this section of 'Bodies,' we will explore the idea of representation. What does it mean to see our body (identity, size, shape, color, ability, etc.) represented by the dominant culture? What does it mean when it isn't? We will look at representation in television, movies, media, art, advertising, and more. 

Link to this FAQ

Angela Glover Howell
Section 03 | Section 04

Please see original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Erik Shonstrom
Section 05 | Section 06

Human bodies evolved in adaptive response to the environment. The implications of this development include our morphology, but also how we communicate and think. This section explores "embodiment" through the role our bodies play in cognition, behavior, empathy, and even social interactions. Whether climbing trees or sitting on office chairs, the way our bodies interact with the world around us—and each other—can illustrate our evolutionary history. In this section, we'll be dancing, walking, and moving our way toward a clearer picture of the way sensorimotor interaction with the environment informs every single aspect of our lives.

Link to this FAQ

Kristin Novotny
Section 07 | Section 08

In this section of Bodies, we will focus on the concept of "body image" and its social, political, and personal implications. We will weave together sociological and historical research with lived experience, media analysis, and interview methodology, resulting in a collaborative class blog or printed publication. 

Link to this FAQ

Kelly Thomas
Section 09SIS | Section 10

How we perceive and experience the body influences debate about its representation in media, healthcare, and technology—often affecting local, state, and national politics and subsequent legislation. This section examines the impact of socioeconomic realities on the body, and focuses on the embodied experience of "poor white trash," refugees and "illegals," the mass-incarcerated, and the addicted.

Link to this FAQ

Katheryn Wright
Section 11 | Section 12

Are you into learning about cyborgs, animal-human hybrids, and biotechnology? All of these figurations fall under the umbrella of posthumanism. This section will focus on the significance of posthuman bodies in popular culture. Be prepared to read a lot of philosophy, watch a healthy dose of movies and television, and maybe even play a video game or two for homework!

Link to this FAQ

SPRING 2021 SEMESTER

COR 250 | The Secular & the Sacred

Original course:
What roles do religion and spirituality play in society? By applying theoretical frameworks used to study religion as a cultural phenomenon, examining the development and influence of religious and spiritual traditions in the West, and exploring diverse religious and spiritual identities in contemporary Western society, students will investigate the ways religion and spirituality have shaped personal, political, social, and cultural institutions and practices in the West.

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Will Glover-Howell
Sections: 01, 02, 03

This Earth section of The Secular & The Sacred places specific focus on the texts, attitudes, and practices of secular and religious organizations in regard to the Earth. This will include study of origin stories, natural guidance, as well as comparing current trends in conservation between organizations.

Link to this FAQ

Amy Howe
Section: 05

In this section, we will interrogate the terms “religion” and “race” as categories that mark social difference, shape debates about social justice and equity, are often used to justify exclusionary policies, and fuel hate crimes within and outside of the U.S. We will examine how the categories of religion and race shift and change at different moments in U.S. history, shaping conversations about education and immigration policies, cultural practices of social reform and protest, and U.S. missionary and humanitarian interventions.

Link to this FAQ

Kelly Thomas
Sections: 06, 07

Please see the original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Steve Wehmeyer
Section: 08

Where does fringe science meet fringe religion? Why do UFO abduction narratives matter? Why are modern biologists obsessed with "The God Gene?" Why was Thomas Edison trying to build a machine to speak with the dead? Where do science, religion, technology, and "magic" meet, and where do they diverge?

This section of COR 250—facilitated by professors Chuck Bashaw and Steve Wehmeyer—is part of an intensive, year-long collaborative exploration of the marginal ways of knowing that characterize and sometimes define the Western Intellectual Tradition. The truth is out there!

Enrollment restricted to students who have successfully completed COR 210: X-Files Edition in Fall 2020 with Professor Bashaw.

Link to this FAQ

Steve Wehmeyer
Section: 09

This section of COR 250 explores the roles and rituals associated with "Saints"—divine intercessors and sacred middle-men and -women in archaic and contemporary arts, popular media, and in the everyday lives of people of faith.

We'll explore the popularity of figures like the rebel outlaw Jesus Malverde, patron of narcotraficantes and illegal border crossings, and La Santissma Muerte, the skeleton saint whose devotion spreads from Mexico to San Francisco, New York, and New Haven. This class examines the ways in which Blinking Madonnas, Hidden Imams, and all manner of Bodhisattvas, Avatars, Mashetani, and similar figures serve to mediate sacred and secular worlds, and inject a sense of wonder and possibility into everyday life.

Link to this FAQ

COR 260 | Democracies

Original course:
The 20th century saw the international triumph of the twin pillars of modern Western life: capitalism and democracy. The 21st-century problems of globalism, environmental degradation, and terrorism, however, pose unique challenges to these institutions. This course will study the origins and development of our primary ideals of social organization. Students will actively engage questions about the value and future of capitalism and democracy while learning about its past.

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Ed Cafferty
Sections: 01, 02

Naomi Winterfalcon
Section: 08

Sanford Zale
Section: 09

Please see the original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Alfonso Capone
Sections: 03, 04

In this section, we will explore the benefits and burdens of individual freedom and liberty. Are free citizens the foundation of capitalism and democracy, or are they a threat to these institutions?

Link to this FAQ

David Leo-Nyquist
Section: 05

This section will explore the following questions: What exactly is "democracy;" how has it evolved over time; and are we—at home and abroad—still committed to its basic principles? What are the most serious threats to democracy in the age of Trump? Where do we look today to see examples of flourishing democracy?

Link to this FAQ

Robert Mayer
Sections: 06, 07

Concepts of liberty, freedom, and democracy are central to the American experience, yet the meanings of these ideas have never remained constant. This course looks at the ways Americans have constructed their political identity, from the colonial period through the 21st century.

Link to this FAQ

COR 270 | Heroines & Heroes

Original course:
Western culture has long reserved a special word for the greatest human achievements: heroic. Heroic tales range from ancient epics to today's movies, sports broadcasts, political campaigns, etc. What do heroic stories tell us about who we are, have been, and aspire to be? Does "heroic" describe our ultimate potential, or has it lost meaning? This course examines heroines/heroes in wide-ranging works, adopting varied critical approaches to examining their profound influence on how we understand ourselves and our world.

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Chuck Bashaw
Sections: 01, 02

This course will explore the role of pattern recognition/creation and storytelling in the human experience through an examination of a variety of materials pertaining to the nature of "consciousness" and an engagement with such tropes as the "hero" and the "villain" in a selection of Western and Non-Western narratives.

Link to this FAQ

Angela Glover-Howell
Sections: 03, 04, 05

Kerry Noonan
Section: 09

Megan Spiezio-Davis
Sections: 12, 13

Please see the original course description above.

Link to this FAQ

Michael Lange
Sections: 06, 07

This section uses several different stories by Hans Christian Andersen (author of what you think of as fairy tales, like "The Little Mermaid" and "The Little Match Girl"—stories that you might think are happy, but are really, really not) to explore existential questions of love, death, sex, the afterlife, what it means to be human, and what it means to be heroic. Finishing with an in-depth exploration of Andersen's dark, mystical, and philosophical story, "The Shadow," this class analyzes fundamental questions of human identity.

Link to this FAQ

Kerry Noonan
Section: 08

This version of Heroines and Heroes will focus on Tolkien's The Hobbit. We will examine the novel, as well as other myths and folktales that inspired Tolkien in the creation of his fantasy, including Norse myths and English folktales, as we learn to critically analyze such hero/ine narratives. While also reading some other shorter works by Tolkien, we will keep our focus on The Hobbit as a hero tale, following Bilbo on his "unexpected journey."

Link to this FAQ

Bill Stratton
Sections: 10, 11

In this class, we'll read about, think about, and talk about how heroes in fiction (especially fantasy and speculative fiction) compare to people we've historically deemed heroic, and what that might be able to tell us about ourselves, our cultures, and societies.

Link to this FAQ

Steve Wehmeyer
Sections: 14, 15

This section of COR 270 explores the powerful and persistent presence of the Trickster figure in narrative traditions in the West and around the World. From the Joker and Deadpool to Anansi, Eshu, Loki, and Coyote, the figure that scholars have identified as “the Trickster” has delighted, confounded, instructed, and offended us for thousands of years. We’ll dive deeply into the stories of these complicated figures, and strive to understand what we can learn from them. So come prepared to roll the loaded dice, deal from the bottom of the deck, and immerse yourself in an exploration of “tricknology.”

Link to this FAQ

Katheryn Wright
Sections: 16, 17

This section of Heroines and Heroes is all about the F-word—a.k.a. feminism. We will dig into key debates in feminist media studies, examining heroic figures in popular culture (movies, television, graphic novels, in the news, etc.) along the way.

Link to this FAQ

COR 280 | Colonialism & Western Identity

Original course:
The West: What is it? Is it a place, a set of ideas and traditions, a period of history, an economic or political system? This course will examine how the West must be understood through encounters with the rest of the world, and through interactions between West and non-West. Colonialism initially determined the nature of those interactions, and the legacies of colonialism continue to shape Western identity today.

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Lionel Beasley
Section: 01, 51

In this class, we will consider the United States of America's history as a colonial power. We will examine the construction of its colonial systems and the effect those systems have had on both Americans and indigenous subjects of the system.

Can we think of the United States as a colonial power? If so, how does that colonial system differ from others? In conducting this examination we will utilize the multidisciplinary approach to consider nationalism as the product of colonial system—as social unifiers serving the economic and political imperatives of colonizers—and colonial systems themselves as economic engines that create great wealth for those interests particularly well-situated within power structures. Further, we will consider United States' foreign policy in the 20th century in this light.

Link to this FAQ

Aziz Fatnassi
Section: 02, 52

Colonialism is a condition in which a group of people dominates or attempts to dominate another group or other groups of people. This section focuses on colonialism primarily as a historical and contemporary condition experienced by the people that comprise the Maghreb region (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya). Through the use of case studies, we will explore topics of: indigeneity, social justice, conflict, warfare, diplomacy, slavery, political economy, religion and ritual, identify formation, culinary culture, language birth/death, public health, and human rights.

Link to this FAQ

Robert Mayer
Sections: 03, 08

Western colonialism and imperialism was rooted in competition for power and wealth, but it was justified by and operated through the creation and maintenance of systematic racism. This course explores the consequences and legacies of this combination for Western society, culture, and government.

Link to this FAQ

Craig Pepin 
Sections: 04, 05

From Jamestown to the Muslim ban, the United States of America has always struggled with questions of who belongs and why. The concept of "the West," and America's place within that construct, is often at the heart of those questions. Understanding social identities—ethnic, national, regional, and racial (among others)—provides useful insights into debates about immigration in the United States, and is a vital tool for moving beyond the simplistic faultlines of contemporary politics.

Link to this FAQ

Faith Yacubian
Sections: 06, 07

What can colonialism tell us about whiteness and racism? In this class, we will examine the relationship between Western identity and white racial superiority complexes. We will engage with critical theories, cultural narratives, and popular media that challenge and reinforce Western values, beliefs, and ideals. To that end, we will analyze modern society within the context of white-centrism. Lastly, we will also look at the role that decolonization has played in understanding recolonization and liberation.

Link to this FAQ