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Colloquia and Other Small Classes for First- and Second-Year Students

Colloquia are designed to give students at the beginning of their college careers the opportunity to enroll in small courses which explore specific themes or texts in an interdisciplinary manner. These seminar-style courses offer a uniquely personal setting for student-faculty and student-student interactions. Colloquia provide an opportunity to sharpen analytical skills, to deal clearly with abstract concepts, and to improve writing and oral skills. Enrollment in each colloquium is generally limited to about 15 students, with 10 places reserved for first-year students and 5 places for second-year students. Students may elect only ONE colloquium per year. Enrollment in some colloquia is limited to first-year students only. The following is a partial listing of the colloquia that will be available in 2001-2002.

African American Studies

116. Literary Reflection of the British Empire and Commonwealth 3 hours
This colloquium will focus on selected literary works of the British Empire and the Commonwealth from the late 19th century to the present, including narrative fiction by British, African, and Indian authors. Members of the course will be encouraged to discuss and write about the works from a non-western perspective, with a special emphasis on challenges to social and political hierarchies such as imperialsim, patriarchy, and neo-colonialsim. CR/NE grading. Identical to ENGL 116 and RHET 116. Enrollment Limit: 16 first year students only.
Sem 1 AAST-116-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Podis, Mr. Saaka

118. Ritual and Performance I: The world according to the Yoruba and
their descendants in the New World 3 hours
This course will explore religious phenomena, performance, and artistic "agency" of the Yoruba and their descendants. We will look at Yoruba syncretic beliefs in the New World as well as in the Old World in respect of ritual secrets and choices for artistic representation, in the performance "arena." After reading and discussion of written and verbal expression on this subject by practitioners, artists, and intellectuals, students will use dance movement, artistic representation, and "nommo," the word, to represent their own construct of a ritual; by that means they will render their example of a specific "construct" of ritual. Enrollment Limit: 15 first year students only.
Sem 1 AAST 118-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Sharpley

120. The Caribbean and the Wider World 3 hours
In 1493 the Caribbean did not exist in the imagination of Europe and the wider world. In 1494, it was "discovered" by Columbus, and from that time onwards became an integral part of the European imagination and of the Atlantic world. This course will examine the historical
background to this transformation and some of the political, moral, and economic issues that confer significance on the changes that took place. Enrollment Limit: 15
Sem 1 AAST-120-01 MW 12:00-1:20 Mr. Millette


110. The Idea of the Folk in American Culture History 3 hours
Throughout much of the twentieth century, the idea of an "American folk" has been articulated, appropriated, and manipulated for a variety of ideological agendas. This course will examine the purposes to which the idea of an American folk has been put in the articulation of an American identity and American identities. We will examine a range of anthropological and historical models for understanding the desire to define a "folk," from Sumner's folkways, Redfield's folk-urban continuum, to more contemporary notions of imagined communities and invented traditions. Special focus will be on the political appropriation of folk forms in the Popular Front era of the 1930s and the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, and on the disintegration of monolithic notions of a "folk" in the era of multiculturalism. Texts will include Andrew Ross's No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture, Denning's Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century, and Klein's Woody Guthrie: A Life. Enrollment Limit: 15 Does not serve as a prerequisite for upper-level courses.
Sem 2 ANTH-110-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Goldsmith


110. Monument and Memory in Western Art 3 hours
3 HU
We will study how monuments create and preserve memory, approaching this broad topic in three ways: case studies of important monuments; examining Washington, D.C., the most important monumental complex in the United States; and looking at Oberlin's monuments. We will consider how a monument's meaning is produced by its iconography, historical context, materials, and location. For their final project, students will design a new monument for Oberlin. Enrollment Limit: 15 first-year students.
Sem 2 ARTS-110-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Inglis

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013. Colloquium: Sexually Transmitted Diseases: 1.5 hours
Biology, History and Misery
1.5NS, WR
An exploration of various aspects of the major sexually transmitted diseases. The diseases will be described in detail, outlining such features as cause, pathology, epidemiology, treatment, and immunity. Included in the list of diseases to be discussed are gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, chlamydial infections, sexually spread hepatitis, genital herpes, genital warts (condyloma), and AIDS. The discussions will be set in a societal context in which the problems (i.e., economic, ethical, policy problems) raised by these diseases will be explored. Enrollment Limit: 20. (5 Freshmen, 5 Sophomores, 5 Juniors, and 5 Seniors.) Permission of the instructor required for admission. Not open to students who have completed BIOL 101.
Sem 1 BIOL-013-01 W 7:30-10:00 p.m. Mr. Levin MODULE 1
BIOL-013-02 W 7:30-10:00 p.m. Mr. Levin MODULE 2


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English colloquia will focus on critical writing and analysis through the study of texts. These colloquia are for first-year students only, and do not count for the English major, which begins with foundation courses at the 200 level. All colloquia are Writing Intensive courses. Students in their second year or beyond should begin work in the English Department at the 200 level.

119. Media and Memory 3 hours
3HU, WRi
Beyond offering different sorts of content and engagement for their audiences, various artistic forms and techniques can be understood to provide alternative models for individuals and groups to filter and process experience in general. This course will look at multiple artistic forms (e.g., painting, photography, film, literature), in light of their own technical developments and contrasts with each other across time, in order to develop a greater sense of the many ways medium matters. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 2 ENGL-119-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Pence

121. To Be Announced 3 hours
3HU, Wri
Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 2 ENGL-121-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Staff

124. The Sense of Time and Place 3 hours
3HU, WRi
This course is about novels, films, stories, and poems which rethink individualism in light of an awareness of environment and history as determining factors in human existence. We'll look at these works not only to understand what they have to say about such fundamental human issues, but to understand our own ideas about them. We'll also pay close attention to the ways in which reading and writing can function as active processes of inquiry and imagination. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 1 ENGL-124-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Day

125. Shakespeare and History 3 hours
3HU, WRi
A good number of Shakespeare's plays present material from English and classical history, thus acting out the encounter between truth and poetry, reality and the fictive world of the stage. In this course we will explore several of these plays in relation to the history they represent as reflected in other historiographic forms, and we will consider the plays themselves as embedded in history, participating in the public life of their own times. We will also explore these problems of representation, interpretation, and imaginative reconstruction in our own writing.
Sem 1 ENGL-125-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Pierce
ENGL-125-02 MWF 3:30-4:20 Mr. Pierce

128. Theater, Politics, and Community 3 hours
3HU, WRi
What happens when theater comes down off the stage and into the world around us? This colloquium focuses on the ways that drama can engage audiences in immediate political contexts. We will be reading political plays by Bertolt Brecht and others, including more contemporary playwrights, as well as theoretical essays by Augusto Boal, Paulo Freire, Michel Foucault, bell hooks, and others. Writing will involve response papers, essays, and playwriting exercises (no prior experience expected). The course's "activist" component will consist of learning exercises from the Theater of the Oppressed and developing Forum Theater performances in conjunction with several local community groups, as well as on campus. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 2 ENGL-128-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Ms. Geis
ENGL-128-02 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Geis

131. Forms of Dialogue 3 hours
3HU, WRi
An interdisciplinary analysis of dialogue in drama, poetry, fiction, films, philosophy, religion, interviews, debates, therapy, and conversation. Also, readings in theories of dialogue from Plato to Heidegger. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 1 ENGL-131-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Mr. Hobbs

134. Novels of Development 3 hours
3HU, WRi
This course uses thematic concerns common to coming-of-age fiction as a framework for comparative examination of interactions of narrative technique, sociohistoric context, and artistic purpose in a diverse group of novels. Readings will probably include Toni Morrison's Sula, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Dickens' Great Expectations, Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, and Gish Jen's Mona in the Promised Land. The class will proceed mainly by discussion. Written assignments will consist of a series of fairly short (3-5 page) papers and occasional one-page warm-ups for discussion. No final exam. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 2 ENGL-134-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. Linehan
ENGL-134-02 MWF 3:30-4:20 Ms. Linehan

146. Art and Authenticity: Reading U.S. Minority Literatures 3 hours
3HU, WRi
In this colloquium, we will read selected works of U.S. ethnic literature comparatively, focusing on their rhetorical strategies, their purported goals, and their definition of and critical relation to the American mainstream. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 1 ENGL-146-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Motooka
ENGL-146-02 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Motooka

148. Pedagogies of Empire 3 hours
3HU, WRi
This course will analyze the pedagogies through which (British) Colonialism (re)made colonial subjects and subjectivities. It will focus especially on the scenes of instruction in a variety of anglophone texts from the so-called Third World. Some of these texts include: Ama Ata Aidoo's No Sweetness Here, Salman Rushdie's Shame, Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks, Earl Lovelace's Wine of Astonishments, Tsi Tsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions and Tayeb Salib's Season of Migration to the North. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 1 ENGL-148-01 TuTh 8:35-9:50 Ms. Needham
ENGL-148-02 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Ms. Needham

155. W. B. Yeats and the Irish Renaissance 3 hours
3HU, WRi
An intensive study of the works of William Butler Yeats in their biographical, cultural, and historical context. We will read a good deal of Yeats' work during the semester, including his Collected Poems, several of his plays, autobiographical writings and essays, and several works by his contemporaries. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.
Sem 1 ENGL-155-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Mr. Olmsted
ENGL-155-02 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Olmsted

177. Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing 3 hours
3HU, WRi
The perspectives and standpoints which narratives and other works of the imagination seem to project or play with, and those we bring as readers, shape the way works appeal and what their apparent "content" or "meaning" is. With this in mind, we'll look at prose narratives by Borges, James, Chesnutt, O'Connor, Morrison, Butler and others, at least one graphic novel (probably Maus), The Wizard of Oz in its print and film forms, and some visual art. We may devote some time to ways in which the Internet expands, but also limits, how we see and know our world, present and past. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.

Sem 1 ENGL-177-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Zagarell
ENGL-177-02 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Zagarell

181. Middle Passage and Migration in the African-American 3 hours

3HU, WRi

Movement is a central theme in African-American literature, and this course will introduce students to this trope as well as the concept of call and response through examination of creative works such as Equiano's Interesting Narrative, Baraka's "Slave Ship," Hayden's "Middle Passage," Johnson's Middle Passage, Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Toomer's Cane, Wright's 12 Million Black Voices, and Morrison's Jazz as well as select historical documents. We will pay special attention to ways in which these works figure historical change in terms of spatial and psychological difference and musical form. Enrollment Limit: 16 first-year students only.

Sem 1 ENGL-181-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. Johns

188. To Be Announced

3HU, Wri

Enrollment limit: 16 first-year students only.

Sem 2 ENGL-188-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Staff

ENGL-188-02 MWF 1:30-2:20 Staff

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360. Freshman/Sophomore Colloquium: Title to be announced 3 hours 3HU, CD
Topic to be announced. Please consult Registration Supplement or Department of French and Italian Supplement for description. Prerequisite: French 301 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 15.

Sem 1 FREN-360-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Staff

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112. The Bourgeoisie and the Making of Modern Europe 3 hours
This course uses Karl Marx's critique of the European bourgeoisie, the Communist Manifesto, as the starting point for an exploration of the central economic, political, and cultural characteristics of this class, as well as the development of modern Europe. Topics include capitalism and commodity culture, industrialization and urbanization, nationalism and imperialism, family and gender roles. Extensive discussion of primary and secondary sources, frequent writing assignments. Enrollment Limit: 12.
Sem 2 HIST-112-01 W 7:00-9:00 p.m. Ms. Chin

117. National Schizophrenia in Japan and Sub-Saharan Africa 3 hours
Africa 1945-present: Tradition, Modernity and the Modern Novelist

Our thematic focus will be the exploration of the tension between indigenous tradition and Western modernity among post-1945 novelists in Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Topics to be covered include the family, gender roles, politics, and religion. Authors to be read include Chinhua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Mishima Yukio, Peter Abrahams, Ariyoshi Sawako, Oe Kenzaburo, and Kawabata Yasunari. Extensive discussion and frequent writing assignments will be the basis for evaluation. Enrollment Limit: 12. First Year students only.

Sem 1 HIST-117-01 Tu 1:00-2:50 Mr. Di Cenzo
119. The 1960s 3 hours
3SS, CD, WRi
We will explore the issues and events that shaped American politics and culture in the 1960s, arguably the most significant and turbulent decade in recent U.S. history. We will pay particular attention to the social movements for racial justice, women's liberation, and America's withdrawal from Vietnam as well as domestic and foreign policies of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. Extensive discussion and frequent writing assignments. Enrollment Limit: 12.

Sem 2 HIST-119-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Jung

141. The Gilded Age 3 hours
3SS, WRi
Greed, violence, excesses of wealth and poverty, xenophobia, media spectacles, unstable gender roles, manhood under attack, uppity women, rising white supremacy, crimes of hatred and fear. The 1980's? The 1990's? How about the 1880's-1890's? We explore the period from after the Civil War to the early twentieth century, focusing on industrialization, territorial expansion, the rise of cities, new sexual and racial classifications and control, political transformations, professionalization, and emerging mass consumer culture. Enrollment Limit: 12.
Sem 1 HIST-141-01 Tu 1:00-2:50 p.m. Mr. Mitchell

145. Water in American History 3 hours
3SS, WRi
Through an examination of water power, water rights, floods, droughts and water imagery, this course will examine the history and meanings of water in the United States. Through our exploration of the place and importance of water in U.S. history, we will identify and critique the varied ways in which environmental historians and other writers grapple with the story of a critical resource. Enrollment Limit: 15
Sem 1 HIST 145-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Stroud.

148. The Collision of Cultures in North America, ca. 1500-1700 3 hours
An exploration of the complex interactions among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans in North America during the first two centuries of European colonization. Emphasis will be placed on cultural bases of understanding and misunderstanding, modes of conflict and cooperation, the social impact of geography and disease, and the relationship between cultural, economic, and political developments. Readings will include a wide array of primary sources and recent scholarly studies from differing viewpoints. Considerable use of educational technology. Enrollment Limit: 12 first-year students only.
Sem 1 HIST-148-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Mr. Kornblith

149. Approaches to World History 3 hours
3SS, WRi, CD
A critical examination of approaches to world history including the continental, civilizational, and world systems approaches, as well as of narratives constructed around themes such as the rise of the West, European expansion, the discovery of the New World, and the like. We will focus on largely unexamined metageographical conceptions and how they are implicated in Eurocentric assumptions about world historical developments. We will read recent critical works on world history and historiography that have suggested new approaches to the subject, in particular regarding trade and economic exchange, so that we may bring to bear a critical perspective on material and cultural exchange and diffusion from a global perspective. Finally, although "globalization" is a very current concern, we will discover that it has been a salient issue for the past five hundred years. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 HIST-149-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Kelley

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109. Morality, Meaningful Life, Problematic Self 3 hours


An inquiry into the meaning of life from consideration of basic accounts of moral value. The inquiry will explore constitutional and circumstantial differences in the makeup of the self from person to person, and consider how these differences bear on issues of meaningful life. Alternative basic attitudes (e.g., pessimism, optimism, resignation, nihilism) characterizing different accounts of the meaning of life will be assessed. The inquiry will be supported by readings (classical and contemporary) from philosophy, literature, and drama. Discussion and writing emphasized. No prerequisite. Enrollment Limit: 15 first-year students

Sem 1 PHIL-109-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Care

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119. Colloquium: Applied Psychological Science 3 hours
An examination of the application of psychological science to current real-world issues. Topics are likely to include eyewitness testimony, repressed memory, hypnosis, lie-detection, jury decision making, and stereotyping in the media. In addition, this course will introduce the tools that scientists use to understand human behavior. We will design experiments, collect and analyze data, and interpret and present the results of our experiments. Enrollment Limit: 18 first-year students. Notes: CR/NE grading.

Sem 1 PSYC-119-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. deWinstanley

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117. Colloquium: The Sacred and the Other 3 hours
3HU, CD, WRi

This colloquium examines the impact of global multiculturalism on contemporary American religious communities and their beliefs. In particular, attention will be given to how religious communities and influential religious thinkers are grappling with the complexities of difference based on religion, gender, race ethnicity, and sexuality. Writings to be studied will be drawn from theorists focusing on Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Native American religious traditions. Enrollment Limit: 15 first year students.

Sem 1 RELG-117-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Mr. Kamitsuka

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104. She works hard for the money: Women, work and the persistence of inequality 3 hours
Current U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports indicate that women who are employed full-time earn only 76.7% of what men who are employed full-time earn. In this course, we will explore the causes and consequences of gender based wage discrepancy. Topics to be covered include: occupational segregation, comparable worth, shift work, "the Mommy Track", gender based job queuing, career trends and unpaid labor. In addition to class reading, each student will choose an occupation and research it throughout the semester.
Sem 1 SOCI-104-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. John

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Other Small Classes for First-Year Students

Other Small Classes for First-Year Students
In addition to the Colloquia for First- and Second-Year Students listed above, Oberlin also offers a substantial number of other small courses suitable for first-year students. The following is a partial listing of courses suggested for first-year students seeking a small-class experience. A variety of course formats can be found: lecture and discussion, lab components of science courses, foreign languages, and performance. These courses provide instruction in academic skills like writing, speaking, argumentation, quantitative reasoning, analysis, and research. Not all courses are designed specifically for first-year students but in general they lack prerequisites and tend to enroll predominantly first-year students. Enrollment in these courses is 35 or fewer. This list is not exhaustive. Full course descriptions may be found under each departmental listing.
103 Approaches to Western Art History (one section may be predominantly first- and
second-year students)

104 Approaches to Chinese Art History

106 Ways of Seeing: An Introduction to Art History

141 The Persistence of Memory: Basic Issues in Western Art


101 Topics in Human Biology (lab sections)

115 Field Botany


103 Topics in General Chemistry

Chinese (East Asian Studies)

101-102 Elementary Chinese


100 Myth and Hero in the Greek EPIC

Dance (Theater and Dance)

100 Modern Dance I


101-102 Elementary French


160 Physical Geology (lab sections)

162 Environmental Geology (lab sections)


101-102 Elementary German

Greek (Classics)

101-102 Elementary Greek


101-102 Elementary Italian

Japanese (East Asian Studies)

101-102 Elementary Japanese

Jewish Studies

111-112 Classical Hebrew I, II

Latin (Classics)

101-102 Elementary Latin


131 Calculus Ia: Limits, Continuity, and Differentiation

132 Calculus Ib: Integration and Applications

133 Calculus I: Limits, Continuity, Differentiation, Integration, and Application

134 Calculus II: Special Functions, Integration Techniques, and Power Series

101 Problems of Philosophy

102 Introduction to Philosophy


055 Principles of Solar Energy


101 Introduction to Religion: Religion as a World Phenomenon

Rhetoric and Composition

100 Basic Writing


101-102 Elementary Russian

Spanish (Hispanic Studies)

101-102 Elementary Spanish

Theater (Theater and Dance)

105 Exploring Acting

108 Acting Techniques

Women's Studies

100 Introduction to Women's Studies

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