This Pathway, by exploring the meaning of the liberal arts from its historical origins to the present, will allow students to make informed assessments of the continuing relevance of the liberal arts as a model for higher education and engaged citizenship. What does it mean to say that Connecticut College is a liberal arts college? Where does this model come from? What is its significance today and what might it look like a century from now? By requiring students to engage with disciplines represented by the seven traditional areas of the liberal arts, this Pathway offers students the opportunity to take part in the liberal arts tradition while critically examining it.

While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples might be:

  • What does one need to know to be a free person?
  • What is the relationship between the arts and sciences?
  • What are the social implications of providing a liberal arts education?
  • Is the liberal arts constrained by its Western origins?

Core Faculty

John Anthony, Professor of Music and College Organist

John P. Anthony

Professor of Music, Co-Chair of the Music Department

John  Anthony is the college organist. Anthony's courses include Concerts in the Community, Introduction to Music, Basic Keyboard Skills, Seminar in Music History, and History of Western Music.

Leslie Brown, associate professor of physics and astronomy, Connecticut College

Leslie Brown

Associate Professor of Physics

Soon after arriving at Connecticut College, Leslie Brown worked with the department to start a new major in astrophysics and a minor in astronomy. Believing that student involvement is important for both her and the students, Brown includes students in her research and has also acted as adviser to students' theses and independent studies.

Wendell John Coats

Professor of Government

W. John Coats Jr. was the recipient of the College's 2003 Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award for excellence in academic research.

Christopher Hammond, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Chair, Department of Mathematics

Christopher Hammond

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Associate Dean of the College for Curriculum

While pure mathematics occupies a great deal of Professor Hammond's attention, he also maintains an active interest in the liberal arts, particularly in topics relating to literature and religion. He is delighted whenever he can find connections between mathematics and the arts. He has given several talks on Dante's use of mathematical imagery in the Divine Comedy, as well as a lecture on the place of science and mathematics in Gulliver's Travels.

Tobias Myers, Assistant Professor of Classics, Connecticut College

Tobias Myers

Assistant Professor of Classics

Tobias Myers comes to Connecticut College from Columbia University, where he taught literature in translation as well as ancient languages. In his teaching he aims to share with students his fascination with the ways in which the ancient Greeks and Romans are strange and yet familiar to us today, and his conviction that we cannot understand the present without understanding the past.

Fred Paxton, Brigida Pacchiani Ardenghi Professor of History, Medieval European history

Frederick S. Paxton

Brigida Pacchiani Ardenghi Professor of History

Fred Paxton sees himself as both a humanist and a social scientist. He regularly teaches courses on European history from 200 A.D. to the present, early Islamic history from Muhammad to the Mongols, and History 101, "Big History: From the Big Bang to the Future of the Cosmos." Recent advanced courses have included New Approaches to World History, The Middle Ages in Big Historical Perspective: Northwestern Eureope and the American Southwest, 400-1400 A.D. and The Carolingian Age in Europe.

Darryl Phillips, Associate Professor of Classics, Connecticut College

Darryl Phillips

Associate Professor of Classics, Chair of the Classics Department

Darryl Phillips' research and teaching interests have always been interdisciplinary, encompassing history, law, religion, art and architecture, and topography. Though not limited to one approach or one type of evidence, his work is nevertheless united by a common focus — Roman culture and history of the late Republic and early Principate. His approach to the period is to privilege continuity over change while considering cultural practices in their topographical and historical contexts.

Sharon Portnoff, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Sharon J. Portnoff

Elie Wiesel Associate Professor of Judaic Studies

Among the courses Sharon Portnoff teaches are The Holocaust and Post-Holocaust Responses, Religious Ethics and Jewish Traditions. Portnoff's areas of research include Leo Strauss’ influence on Emil L. Fackenheim and Primo Levi’s use of Dante’s Commedia in If This is a Man. Portnoff also coordinates the Miriam Melrod Lecture in Judaic Studies.

Robert Proctor, Joanne Toor Cummings '50 Professor of Italian, Founding Director, The Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA), 1989-1995, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, 1995-97

Robert E. Proctor

Elizabeth S. Kruidenier '48 Professor of Italian

Teaching courses on Dante's Divine Comedy and on the Renaissance in Italy are two of the joys of Robert Proctor's life. He wants to inspire in students a love of Dante's great work and a desire to make Dante's journey through the afterlife a companion in their journeys through this life. He wants as well to introduce students to the beauty of Italy, and to the enduring power of works of art and literature created during the Renaissance.

Ric Ricci

Head Men's Rowing Coach

Ric Ricci brings 36 years of coaching experience to the Connecticut College men's rowing program.

Thematic Inquiry

The Thematic Inquiry will be a single team-taught course, consisting of six two-week units. There will be a substantial graded assignment at the end of each unit. An opening question for the course will be: “What does the liberal arts mean? Why did I choose to attend a liberal arts college?” The course will culminate with students stating their animating questions and proposing their future Curricular Itinerary and Global/Local Engagement. Units will typically include an overview of the origins of the liberal arts; the cultural and political context of the liberal arts (including athletics); mathematics and the liberal arts; astronomy and the liberal arts; music (or some other creative art); and philosophy or theology. The overall purpose of the course is to provide a thoughtful and unified introduction to the liberal arts, from which students will branch out to consider a wide variety of disciplines and animating questions.

Curricular Itinerary

Mode A: Creative Expression
ENG 217 WRITING THE SHORT STORY
ENG 221 NARRATIVE NONFICTION
ENG 240 READING & WRITING POEMS
MUS 104 THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC
MUS 130 CC: FOUNDATION OF MUSIC THEORY
MUS 131 FOUNDTNL THEORY FOR MUSICIANS

Mode B: Critical Inquiry and Analysis
CLA 104 CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY
CLA 204 GREEK TRAGEDY
CLA 210 GREEK AND ROMAN ETHICS
CLA 222 ANCIENT COMEDY
CLA 303 CLASSICAL EPIC
CLA 314 GRECO-ROMAN HISTORIOGRAPHY
CLA 376 BEAUTY STAND STILL HERE
ECO 225 ECO HIS/HIS ECO THOUGHT I
HIS 115 CC: CHINESE PATH TO HAPPINESS
HIS 224 CONFUCIAN TRADITIONS
ITL 216 IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY
ITL 302 DANTE (IN ENGLISH)
ITL 408 THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
ITL 409 LATE RENAISS: ART,SCI,RELIG
PHI 101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
PHI 129 ETHICS
PHI 201 HIST OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
PHI 202 HIST OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
PHI 216 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
REL 210 JEWISH TRADITIONS
REL 214 ISLAMIC TRADITIONS

Mode C: Quantitative and Formal Reasoning
LIN 201 PHONOLOGY
LIN 202 SYNTAX
MAT 105 INTRO MATHEMATICAL THOUGHT
MAT 111 CALC A: CALCULUS WITH PRECALC
MAT 112 CALC B: DERIVATIVES/INTEGRALS
MAT 113 CALC C: INTEGRALS AND SERIES
MAT 210 DISCRETE MATHEMATICS
MAT 212 MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS
PHI 103 LOGIC

Mode D: Scientific Inquiry and Analysis
AST 105 SOLAR SYSTEM ASTRONOMY
AST 110 BEYOND THE SOLAR SYSTEM
BIO 105 ORGANISMS
BIO 106 CELLS
BOT 115 INTRODUCTION TO BOTANY
CHM 103 GENERAL CHEMISTRY
CHM 107 ADV GENERAL CHEMISTRY
PHY 107 GENERAL PHYSICS
PHY 109 ADVANCED GENERAL PHYSICS I

Mode E: Social and Historical Inquiry
AHI 101 SURVEY OF THE HIST OF ART, I
AHI 102 SURVEY OF THE HIST OF ART, II
AHI 211 STATE,FAM,INDV IN ANCIENT ROME
AHI 220 EARLY CHRISTIAN/BYZANTN ART
AHI 221 MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE
AHI 230 EARLY ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART
AHI 232 HIGH RENAISSANCE ART IN ITALY
ANT 102 MATERIAL LEGACIES:ARCH ANTHRO
ANT 104 QUESTIONING CUL:INTRO TO ANTH
ANT 112 CC: MATERIAL LEGACIES
ANT 114 CC: POWER AND INEQUALITY
CLA 101 CC: ANCIENT GREECE
CLA 102 CC:THE ROMAN WORLD
CLA 209 THE ROMAN FAMILY
CLA 216 WARFARE IN GRECO-ROMAN ANTIQ
CLA 217 GREEK & ROMAN RELIGIONS
CLA 329 THE AGE OF AUGUSTUS
CLA 336 ROMAN POLITICAL CULTURE
ECO 225 ECO HIS/HIS ECO THOUGHT I
HIS 107 EUROPE: MEDIEVAL TO MODERN
HIS 115 CC: CHINESE PATH TO HAPPINESS
HIS 224 CONFUCIAN TRADITIONS
HIS 231 EARLY MIDDLE AGES
HIS 232 LATER MIDDLE AGES
LIN 110 INTRO TO LANGUAGE AND MIND
MUS 102 MUSIC THROUGH TIME/SOCIETY
PHI 101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
PHI 129 ETHICS
PHI 201 HIST OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
PHI 202 HIST OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
PHI 216 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
REL 210 JEWISH TRADITIONS
REL 214 ISLAMIC TRADITIONS

Courses Not Currently Designated with a Mode of Inquiry
AHI 207 ISLAMIC ART
AHI 242 CLASSCL MYTHOL IN WESTRN ART
BOT 117 INTRO TO ETHNOBOTANY
CLA 218 ATHENS AND ITS CRITICS
CLA 219 SEXUALITY/EROS CLASSICAL ANTIQ
EAS 110 INTRO TO EAST ASIAN HUMANITIES
GOV 211 ANC & MEDIEVAL POL THOUGHT
HIS 417 EUROPE’S FIRST EMPIRE
HMD 103 CHILD RIGHTS/PUBLIC POLICY
HMD 202 BEST PRACT & THE PRESCHOOL EXP
HMD 204 CHILDREN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
HMD 225 IND DIFFERENCES IN DEVELOPMENT
HMD 304 CHILD & FAM SOCIAL POLICY
HMD 306 LANGUAGE, NARRATIVE, AND SELF
HMD 314 MEDIA, SELF, AND SOCIETY
HMD 321 CHILD/FAMIL MULTI-CUL SOC
MUS 247 HIST OF WESTERN MUSIC I
PSY 205 PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY
REL 158 HOLY BOOKS:WSTRN SCRIPT TRAD
REL 211 CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS
REL 493L TO HELL AND BACK

Suggested Global-Local Engagement

Study Away

As the Pathway intends to provide opportunities for comparative study, students may also seek out study away opportunities across the globe that provide engagement with global antiquity and contemporary concerns, such as exploring the sciences in Northern Africa, Mexico, and Peru. Current identified options include College Year in Athens and Morningside and Boya Colleges in China, as well as a possible TRIP to Sicily.

Internships

Students may identify internships that assist them in understanding the foundations or uses of liberal arts knowledge. Possibilities include hospitals, museums, governmental institutions and research opportunities with colleagues in the liberal arts.

Community-Based Learning

Pathway faculty will work with Community Partnerships and other campus resources to identify and develop appropriate community-based learning opportunities in our courses to enhance student learning and contribute to putting the liberal arts into action. Possibilities include liberal arts day, or in local schools, or admissions open house; astronomy public open houses, or in local schools; public performances, music or theater, perhaps in local schools; classical or comparative mythology day in local schools; student teaching; Costumes; Slater Art Museum/Lyman Allyn docent; arboretum outreach; architectural tours of New London (New London Landmarks); Flock Theater; graveyard analysis, tours; history of New London courthouse.

 

For more information, please contact Christopher Hammond or any other member of the core faculty.