Dean Accardi is an historian of gender and religion in South Asia and the Islamic World. He is interested in the connections between religious and political practices, institutions and discourses in the early modern and modern world. His research focuses on the gendered ascetic practices of saints revered by both Hindus and Muslims and their use to establish and articulate religious and political power.
This Pathway allows students to take an interdisciplinary approach to inquiry of bodies and embodiment, their (her)(his)tories, frameworks, practices and methodologies. We will explore diverse and potentially contradictory definitions, narratives, representations, experiences, histories of body and what and who counts as a body.
Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between power, subjectivities, and individual and collective bodies. Through their studies, they will be inspired to become engaged citizens in local and global settings. They will become aware of the connections and differences between disciplinary approaches to the study of the body/embodiment and develop a critical analytical lens for examining the promises and limits of particular disciplines.
While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples include:
- Do all bodies work and feel the same?
- How are bodies affected by power and how do they resist?
- How are bodies presented and represented (e.g., technologically, scientifically, statistically, visually, narratively, biologically or aesthetically)?
- What is the relationship among physical, imagined and/or metaphorical bodies?
Nadav Assor began his work as an assistant professor of art at Connecticut College in August, 2012, leading the development of the new Expanded Media area in the Studio Art department. Assor's current classes, all cross-listed between studio art and the Ammerman Center for Art and Technology, include Introduction to Digital Concepts in Time Based Media, Video Installation, Sound Art, and Experimental 3D.
Andrea N. Baldwin's long-term research involves transnational feminist pedagogies and praxis, theorizing love as power in intimate heterosexual relationships in the Anglophone Caribbean, the migration of Caribbean women as a form of care work, and cyber feminism.
As a behavioral neuroscientist, Ruth Grahn's central interest is to investigate the mechanisms by which neural activity mediates behavior. She has taken an approach that is best described as functional neuroanatomy. How does activity in Brain Region X control or modulate Behavior Y?
Afshan Jafar’s research and teaching interests include globalization, transnational women's movements, fundamentalist and nationalist movements, gender, media, and the body. Professor Jafar regularly teaches, Introduction to Sociology; Sociology of the Body and Embodiment; Sex Gender, and Society; Sociology of Globalization.
Nina Martin teaches Introduction to Film Study: How to Read a Film and Studies in Authorship: Women Directors, among others.
Michelle C. Neely's research and teaching focus on questions of nature, culture and democracy in American literature before 1900. As an assistant professor at Connecticut College, Neely has built on her environmental, animal studies, and food studies expertise by developing courses for interdisciplinary contexts such as the Environmental Studies Program and the American Studies Program, and by teaching a wide range of courses in American literature before 1900.
Sabrina Notarfrancisco is a costume designer for live performance and film. In addition to teaching courses in Costume History and Costume Design and Construction, she works closely with students in the costume studio, a hands-on environment where theory and practice seamlessly intersect.
Denise Pelletier has a wide range of expertise in ceramic sculpture/handbuilding, moldmaking, slipcasting and industrial production methods, and a decade of experience in making vessels and functional pottery. She is experienced with majolika, underglazes, china paints, reduction and oxidation high-fire glazes, silkscreen and digital decals, traditional and experimental image transfer techniques, paper clay, plaster clay, casting slip and adobe.
Kenneth Prestininzi is a playwright, director, dramaturg, teacher and producer. Prior to coming to Connecticut College, he was the Chair (acting) and Associate Chair of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and a Pembroke Fellow at Brown University.
Rosemarie A. Roberts is a dance studies scholar, dancer and educator. Her artistic and scholarly work blend history, dance and theater in order to conduct social psychological and anthropological investigations of Afro-diasporic dance as embodiments of difference, knowledge and resistive power. Professor Roberts is an interpreter of traditional and folkloric Cuban, Haitian, Puerto Rican and Brazilian dance forms. In the Katherine Dunham tradition, dance is a forum for investigating the historical, cultural and spiritual richness of these forms.
Rotramel's research and teaching agenda reflect her interdisciplinary training and commitment to bridging theoretical and practical engagements of identity and social justice issues. Professor Rotramel has taught Feminist Approaches to Disability Studies, Transnational Women's Movements and Public Policy and Social Ethics, Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies, Introduction to Queer Studies and Feminist Theory.
Jennifer Rudolph teaches Advanced Spanish Grammar and Composition.
Lina Perkins Wilder teaches courses in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature. Her courses include Essentials of Literary Study; Happy Endings: Shakespeare’s Comedies; Speaking What We Feel: Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Histories; Archive Fever; Pain and Violence in Renaissance Drama; Jews and Moors in Renaissance Drama; Milton; Donne, Herbert, Marvell; Shakespeare in Performance; Sickness and Health in Renaissance Literature; and English Shakespeare’s Brain, Shakespeare’s Body.
The Thematic Inquiry will be co-taught by the coordinators of the Pathway. Other faculty members will circulate throughout the semester to teach their discipline’s frameworks, practices and methodologies. Sample topics include self-care practices, food, capitalism’s framing of bodies, perfectionism, individualism, globalization and cultural appropriation.
Throughout the semester, students will reflect on their embodied social locations using their medium of choice. These reflections will culminate in an analysis of course themes and content. Students will also contribute to a course blog in which they reflect and analyze based on evidence from course content, generate unanswered questions, and forge connections to life, assignments, and content in other courses.
All students in the Pathway will complete at least three Curricular Itinerary courses, based on their specific interests and animating questions. The following courses have been approved in advance by the core faculty of the Pathway. Students may also petition to have additional courses counted toward the Curricular Itinerary, as appropriate.
Global-Local Engagement (Some Potential Settings and Activities)
Through study away, students in this Pathway can engage critically with the status and representations of different bodies in non-academic settings; learn to understand their own bodies and the spaces they occupy in relational ways, rather than in isolation; respond effectively and ethically to situations of embodied inequality; and deploy intersectional methodologies from the Thematic Inquiry to contribute to new knowledge formations and to envision change. Some examples include immersive study away programs in Amsterdam and Morocco, dance programs in Paris and community health programs in South Africa.
Students should be engaged in the doing and application of frameworks, concepts, practices and methodologies learned through the Pathway. Possiblities include, but are not limited to:
- Sprout Garden
- York Correctional Institution and Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center
- Pequot Museum
- Garde Arts Center
- Writer’s Block
- Lawrence and Memorial Hospital
- Eugene O’Neill Theater
- Customs House
- Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
- Fresh New London
- Coast Guard Academy
- Connecticut College Children’s Program
- Beechwood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
- SCAAD in New London
- Sound Communities
- Regional Multicultural Magnet School
- Arts Magnet School
- New London Library
- Hygienic Arts Center
- El Centro de la Comunidad
- Hispanic Alliance
- Hearing Youth Voices
- Mystic Seaport
- Mystic Aquarium
- Safe Futures
Particularly relevant to this Pathway would be community-based learning opportunities that foster collaborative action in the local ecosystem. Examples of community-based learning about the body and embodiment include volunteering with local governance machinery, non-governmental organizations, arts and media networks, environmental centers, health and wellness facilities and multilingual and multicultural associations, some of which are identified above. The Pathway envisions community integration that will work toward improving the world in some meaningful way.
The senior reflection will be a two-credit seminar that will meet weekly and be taught by one instructor. It will include flexible assignments leading toward the All-College Symposium that interact with animating questions: e.g., revisit animating questions and responses from Thematic Inquiry course; consider how they have changed direction and why; choose one reading/review/clip for the group that motivates their project/direction; reflect on Modes of Inquiry; consider different formats for symposium; have a scaffolded series of goals toward All-College Symposium; conduct dry runs/rehearsals for presentations; and reflect on the Pathway and its relationship to majors, Study Away, Global/Local engagement, internships and/or language and culture. The seminar will also include post-symposium reflection and assessment.