Bard College Catalogue 2012-13
Campus-Based Affiliated Programs and Institutes
The following programs offer opportunities for undergraduates to attend talks, conferences, and other events, and to participate in noncredit-bearing programs, workshops, and internships to supplement their studies.
Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) The Bard Prison Initiative is restoring higher education to the prisons of New York and the United States. Prior to the 1990s, college-in-prison programs had slashed rates of reincarceration from 60 percent to 15 percent. For more than 20 years, these programs expanded college opportunities for the most educationally isolated populations in the nation and represented the most cost-effective form of public correctional spending. Despite proven benefits, funding for such programs was eliminated in 1995, causing the nationwide closure of some 350 college prison programs and ending the most affordable and transformative interventions in American criminal justice.
BPI offers credit-bearing course work leading to associate and bachelor’s degrees at three long-term, maximum-security prisons and two transitional, lower-security prisons in New York State. At these five in-prison campuses, more than 300 incarcerated students are engaged in robust course work in the humanities, foreign languages, sciences, mathematics, and studio arts. Senior Projects range from American history to cultural anthropology to pure and applied math. Through BPI, Bard College has conferred nearly 250 degrees to incarcerated students. Increasingly, BPI alumni/ae are leaving the system and pursuing remarkable careers in private industry, the arts, social service, and academics.
In addition to operating its five New York State sites, BPI has founded the national Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, based at Bard College. The Consortium supports sister programs at other first-rate colleges and universities as part of an ongoing initiative to replicate the BPI model across the United States.
Founded by Bard alumus Max Kenner ’01, the Bard Prison Initiative continues to have a profound effect on the intellectual life of the main Bard College campus. Each week, undergraduate students visit regional prisons and volunteer as tutors in advanced math, languages, and analytic writing. Bard undergraduates also enroll in a range of classes related to their experiences with BPI, and a number of Bard/BPI alumni/ae have gone on to organize similar programs across the country. For more information, visit BPI’s website at www.bard.edu/bpi.
Bard Summer Research Institute Students in the Bard Summer Research Institute spend 10 weeks in residence over the summer working on individual research projects in either the social or natural sciences. Each student has a faculty mentor for the duration of the program and receives a stipend.
Center for Civic Engagement The Center for Civic Engagement supports a wide array of initiatives that engage Bard students, faculty, and administrators with the most important issues facing society. The Center sponsors lectures, conferences, and workshops; facilitates internship, volunteer and service-learning opportunities; and awards fellowships that are designed to reinforce the links between education, democracy, and citizenship. For information, see the “Civic Engagement” chapter or go to www.bard.edu/civicengagement.
Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists The Achebe Center was established in 2005 to continue the legacy of Chinua Achebe, Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor Emeritus of Languages and Literature, to serve the future of global Africana arts. Among its goals are to become a center of excellence for the teaching of African literature, to support a new generation of African writers, and to encourage literary/cultural entrepreneurship. Undergraduate students at Bard may participate in numerous Center projects, including facilitating events that feature visiting writers, artists, and scholars; helping with all aspects of book and chapbook editing and publication; and working with writer/artist residency projects. For more information about the Achebe Center and its activities, see http://achebecenter.bard.edu.
Conductors Institute The Conductors Institute offers two- and four-week summer programs in various aspects of conducting. For more information, see “The Bard College Conservatory of Music” in this catalogue or visit www.bard.edu/ci.
Distinguished Scientist Scholars Summer Research Scholarship recipients may apply for a stipend (up to $1,500) for summer research projects following the sophomore and junior years.
Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College is an expansive home for thinking about and in the spirit of Hannah Arendt. The Arendt Center’s double mission is, first, to sponsor and support the highest quality scholarship on Hannah Arendt and her work, and, second, to be an intellectual incubator for engaged humanities thinking at Bard College and beyond.
Thinking cannot be taken for granted; it requires cultivation. The Arendt Center is dedicated to nurturing engaged thinking about political questions. In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, the Center held a conference at which participants were asked to step back from policy suggestions and finger-pointing and think about the deeper intellectual foundations of the financial crisis. The 2010 conference assembled leading public intellectuals, such as Ray Kurzweil and Sherry Turkle, and challenged them to confront the increasing inhumanity of our age that results from technological innovation. In two conferences in 2011—“Lying and Politics” and “Truthtelling: Democracy in an Age without Facts,” the Arendt Center shone a light on the untruths and powerlessness of facts that are corroding our politics. These annual conferences—in conjunction with the Center’s lecture series, website, blog, courses, fellowships, and publications—promote thinking that challenges common-sense assumptions and gives depth to public understanding.
Bard undergraduates can take Arendt Center reading seminars alongside graduate student fellows, serve as research assistants, participate in lectures and workshops, contribute to the Center blog, and assist in conferences. To learn more about the Center, visit www.bard.edu/hannaharendtcenter.
Hudsonia, Ltd. Founded in 1981 and based at the Bard College Field Station, Hudsonia is an independent, not-for-profit institute for environmental research and education. Funding for Hudsonia projects comes from government agencies, foundations, conservation and citizens’ groups, businesses, and individuals. Hudsonia focuses on wetland ecology, the Hudson River, biodiversity assessment, conservation biology of rare species and habitats, and ecology and management of invasive plants. Student interns and employees assist in project work, which currently includes assessment of the biological impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and the use of non-native weeds for bioenergy feedstock. To learn more, visit http://hudsonia.org.
Human Rights Project (HRP) The Human Rights Project enables students to learn about, and engage in, the human rights movement. The Project links theoretical inquiry and critical explorations of human rights practice with active research and involvement in contemporary issues. Ongoing initiatives include projects on human rights forensics (with the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London), music and torture, and the intersections between the visual arts and human rights (with the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard). The Project also sponsors a regular lecture and film series on campus. Archival projects include an online and broadcast-quality digital videotape archive of the trial of Slobodan Milosˇevi´c at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, and the Bhopal Memory Project, a web-based documentary resource about the 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India. Since 2001 HRP has supported extensive research travel by students as well as dozens of student internships at human rights and humanitarian organizations, governmental and international agencies, local community groups, hospitals and clinics, and research centers from Albany to Peshawar. To learn more about Human Rights Project activities, visit http://hrp.bard.edu.
Institute of Advanced Theology (IAT) The Institute was founded in 1996 to foster critical understanding, based on scholarship, that will make true religious pluralism possible. Through an interdisciplinary program of research, education, and outreach, IAT faculty and fellows seek to achieve a deeper understanding of biblical history, the New Testament, and other important religious dcuments. The Institute regularly sponsors lectures and conferences. For additional information, visit the IAT website at www.bard.edu/iat.
Institute for Writing and Thinking (IWT) Since its founding in 1982, IWT has been guiding teachers in developing and refining writing practices with the goal of enriching classroom learning. For more information on the Institute and its events, see “The Bard Center” in this catalogue or visit www.bard.edu/iwt.
John Cage Trust The John Cage Trust was created in 1993 to maintain and nurture the artistic legacy of the late American composer, philosopher, poet, and visual artist John Cage. Since 2007, the Trust has been “in residence” at Bard College. Located in Griffiths House, near the main Bard campus, the Trust provides access to its diverse holdings through on-site research, courses, workshops, concerts, and other educational activities and programs. For more information, see www.johncage.org.
Rift Valley Institute (RVI) The Rift Valley Institute is a nonprofit research and training organization that works with communities and institutions in Eastern Africa, including Sudan and the Horn of Africa. RVI programs, which connect local knowledge to global information systems, include field-based social research, support for local educational institutions, in-country training courses, and an online digital library. Fellows of the Institute are regional academic specialists and practitioners in the fields of development, conservation, media, and human rights. John Ryle, Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at the College, is chair of the Institute.
In 2006 RVI established a U.S. office on the Bard College campus. Bard students have opportunities to assist with RVI activities, including the Sudan Open Archive (www.sudanarchive.net), an open-source, open-access database of historical and contemporary documents about the region; field courses on Sudan and the Horn, run by the Institute; research into human rights issues; and editing of video material. RVI also organizes events and lectures on campus. For details, visit www.riftvalley.net.
Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program The Trustee Leader Scholar Program encourages and aids students in the design and implemention of a variety of service projects. Student leaders receive stipends in exchange for their participation in the program. For detailed information, see “Civic Engagement” in this catalogue, or visit the TLS website at http://inside.bard.edu/tls.