The Center for the Arts has developed two models for pedagogical collaboration between artists and non-artists. A co-taught course extends over an entire semester. An artist and non-artist jointly prepare a syllabus and share time within the classroom to teach the subject matter. They thereby share research methods and tools, while at the same time affording students the opportunity to witness the disciplines in dialogue. Non-arts faculty might take a course that they regularly teach and restructure the course with a performing arts faculty member, or the two faculty members can co-create an entirely new course. At this time, there is funding for one co-taught course per year that will provide course relief for one or both faculty members.
The intellectual material is taught from two perspectives without one being in service to the other, thus allowing students to experience multiple perspectives simultaneously. Students are also afforded the opportunity to experience the research methods of the artist in a non-arts setting, gaining an appreciation of the arts as a valid means of investigating and understanding subject matter. The artists are introduced to new research partners, the non-arts faculty members gain skills they can use in approaching course material, and students who might not otherwise engage with an artist see the arts as a means of exploring a subject in new ways. For the faculty artists who participate, it becomes a way to begin a research collaboration across disciplinary boundaries that can lead to future projects with non-arts faculty colleagues. Co-taught courses link the arts with other disciplines to integrate experience and reflection, bring theory and practice together, and provide more holistic learning opportunities.
While many courses at Wesleyan could be considered co-taught, the courses listed below were developed in collaboration with Feet to the Fire.
Bill Johnston, Professor of Japanese History, and Eiko Otake, Creative Campus Fellow
Manju Hingorani, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Katja Kolcio, Associate Professor of Dance
Mary Alice Haddad, Assistant Professor of Government, and Cassie Meador, Choreographer of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Liz Lerman, Dancer and Choreographer, Bill Hersbt, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Brian Stewart
Gillian Goslinga, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and Jill Sigman, Founder and Creative Director of jillsigman/thinkdance