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Sophomore Residential Seminars - Course Descriptions

Find your course of interest below, and apply for this truly immersive experience by February 1, 2017.

The Century of Camps (HIST)

Professor Ray Douglas - History

A little more than a hundred years ago, a new kind of structure appeared: the detention camp for civilians. Originally termed a "concentration camp" (because it "concentrated" the inhabitants of an area into a small confined space) and intended to be a short-term expedient, the camp quickly became an archetype of the modern age, a tool relied upon by democratic no less than dictatorial states—and even by humanitarian organizations seeking to deliver aid. In this course we will examine, from a comparative perspective, the rôle, structure and meaning of the camp in its extraordinary variety of forms during the past century; its creation of a "parallel universe" within which new dystopian kinds of social organization become possible; and the human experience of those whose lives it has impacted, distorted or terminated.

More About Prof. Ray Douglas

R.M. Douglas is a historian who writes mainly on forced migration in Europe and the rise of fascist movements, though his publication trajectory is apt to veer off on alarming tangents whenever he stumbles across interesting-but-strange things in the archives. He teaches courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European political and intellectual history, as well as intermittent offerings in International Relations. He has directed nine overseas Colgate study groups. A strong believer in the value of experiential education, he has conducted site visits for Colgate students to Nazi concentration camps in Germany and Poland every year since 2010.

Legacies of the Ancient World: Rome at the Crossroads of Cultures (CORE 151)

Professor Georgia Frank - Religion

Can one remain true to one’s past in new places?  The question remains as pressing now as it was in the ancient world, a time of great mobility and exchange of ideas. This SRS section of Core 151 focuses on Rome as the crossroads for diverse populations, ethnicities, and religions in the ancient world. In the fall semester class we shall study ancient literary, religious, and philosophical texts, many of which were composed outside of Rome yet profoundly shaped its diverse culture. To deepen our understanding of the connection between place and identity, the group shall travel to Rome in January 2018 to study civic and religious places where various groups intersected over time. The spring semester continuation of the course will explore how museums tell the story of religious and ethnic diversity past and present by participating in the “This Place” exhibit traveling to several campuses.

More About Prof. Georgia Frank

Georgia Frank, a member of the Religion Department, teaches courses on religious diversity in the ancient Mediterranean world, as a way to reflect on the intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity today. She first became passionate about ancient religions through a college seminar on the archaeology of religion in Greece and went on to excavate in Turkey during graduate school. A travel-junkie of sorts, she has studied the material culture of ancient Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome and led study groups to Scotland.

Social Justice San Francisco: Immigrant and Sexual Cultures (SOAN)

Professor Meika Loe - Sociology & Women's Studies

This interdisciplinary course focuses on community, culture, identity, and place. Our focus is San Francisco, a modern city composed of diverse immigrant and sexual subcultures. We will ask how identity-based communities are created and maintained in the face of oppression and contestation. We will focus on the stories that members of these communities hold and pass on through generations.  We will consider the unique and ongoing struggles of immigrant and sexual communities in terms of health, poverty, history, and rights. Readings will range from socio-historical analysis, to U.S. Census data, to memoir, to poetry, to fiction.

More About Prof. Meika Loe

Professor Loe writes -- I am a professor who teaches Sociology, Women's Studies, and LGBTQ Studies at Colgate. My teaching, based on Inter-Group Dialogue (IGD), starts with building community among class participants, and then moving outward to connect and engage with diverse communities outside the classroom. This is community-based learning. I have taught a number of community-based research courses related to gender, aging, health, and social movements. I am looking for student participants who want to work together to create a space of shared inquiry, trust, and respect, while also a space to take risks and expand comfort zones. This work is challenging, but when it works, it can be transformative.