Feet to the Fire Courses

The Center for the Arts has developed two models for pedagogical collaboration between artists and non-artists. The first is a course module, which is defined as two to four class sessions within an existing course in which the host of the course co-creates the module with an artist (or if the host is an artist, he/she co-creates the curriculum with a non-artist). Modules provide a way for campus presenters to move beyond the typical workshop or master class conducted by visiting artists and introduce artists into the classroom in a structured way. The second model is the co-taught course that 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.  The intent is to have the intellectual material taught from two perspectives without one being in service to the other.

Students experience these multiple perspectives simultaneously, and have the opportunity to experience the research methods of the artist in a non-arts setting, thereby 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.

While many courses at Wesleyan could be considered co-taught or contain modules, the courses and modules listed below were developed in collaboration with Feet to the Fire.

Fall 2007

ECON 148: The Economics of Climate Change

Gary Yohe, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, and Ann Carlson, Choreographer

Spring 2008

ARST 436: Architecture II

Elijah Huge, Associate Professor of Art & Art History

ANTH 232: Alter(ed)native Approaches: Middletown Lives

Gina Ulysse, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., Printer/bookmaker

BIOL 109: Feet to the Fire: The Art and Science of Climate Change

Barry Chernoff, Professor of Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies

E&ES 359: Global Climate Change

Johan Varekamp, Professor and Chair of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Tula Telfair, Associate Professor of Art & Art History

GOVT/EAST 362: Civil Society in Comparative Perspective

Mary Alice Haddad, Assistant Professor of Government, and Eiko Otake, Choreographer/dancer

ARHA 362: Issues in Contemporary Art

Nina Felshin, Adjunct Lecturer in Art & Art History, and Suzanne O'Connell, Associate Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies

DANC 309: Advanced Modern Dance Technique

Katja Kolcio, Assistant Professor of Dance, and Barry Chernoff, Professor of Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies

Fall 2008

AST 430: Astronomical Pedagogy

William Herbst, Professor of Astronomy, and Marion Belanger, Photographer

E&ES 170/AFAM 213: Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Barry Chernoff, Professor of Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies

Spring 2009

BIOL 306: Tropical Ecology and the Environment

Barry Chernoff, Professor of Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies, and Cassie Meador and Matt Mahaney of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange

PHYS 105: The Physics of Sustainability

Brian Stewart, Professor of Physics, and Dic Wheeler, Artistic Director of ARTFARM, a local theater company

DANC 378: Repertory and Performance

Nicole Stanton, Associate Professor of Dance, Michael Singer, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Andrea Olsen, Professor and Chair of Middlebury College Dance Department

MUSC 521: Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies

Nicole Stanton, Associate Professor of Dance

Fall 2010

ENVS/DANC 346: Ecology of Eating: Reporting from the Fields of Science and Art

John Finn, Professor of Government, Courtney Fullilove, Assistant Professor of History, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Professor of Classical Studies, and Cassie Meador, Choreographer/dancer

THEA 205: Prison Outreach Through Theater

Ron Jenkins, Professor of Theater, and Howard Needler, Professor of College of Letters

Summer 2011

ENVS/THEA 380: The Deepwater Horizon Tragedy: A Scientific and Artistic Inquiry

Barry Chernoff, Professor of Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies, and Leigh Fondakowski, Playwright

Fall 2011

GOVT/EAST/ENVS 304: Environmental Politics and Democratization

Mary Alice Haddad, Associate Professor of Government and Environmental Studies, and Katja Kolcio, Associate Professor of Dance and Environmental Studies

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Contact: Andrew Chatfield