Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
Christian Crouch (director), Myra Young Armstead, Thurman Barker, Alex Benson, Holger Droessler, Yuval Elmelech, Elizabeth Frank, Simon Gilhooley, Donna Ford Grover, Christopher R. Lindner, Peter L’Official, Allison McKim, Matthew Mutter, Joel Perlmann, John Pruitt, Susan Fox Rogers, Julia Rosenbaum, Tom Wolf
The American Studies Program offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of culture and society in the United States. Students take courses in a wide range of fields with the aim of learning how to study this complex subject in a sensitive and responsible way. In the introductory courses, students develop the ability to analyze a broad spectrum of materials, including novels, autobiographies, newspapers, photographs, films, songs, and websites. In the Junior Seminar and Senior Project, students identify and integrate relevant method-ologies from at least two disciplines, creating modes of analysis appropriate to their topics. By graduation, students should have developed a base of knowledge about the past and present conditions of the American experience both at home and abroad.
Before Moderation, students must take one of the two American Studies 101 courses, Introduction to American Studies or Colonial English America, or American Studies 102, Introduction to American Culture and Values, and at least two other courses focusing on the United States. After Moderation, they must take at least three more courses on the United States and at least two courses on non-U.S. national cultures. One post-Moderation course on the United States must be a junior seminar. Every junior seminar culminates in a 20- to 25-page paper in which students bring multiple analytical frameworks to bear on a subject of their choice.At least two of the students’ U.S.-focused courses must emphasize the period before 1900. In order to ensure a variety of perspectives on students’ work, both the Moderation and Senior Project boards must consist of faculty members drawn from more than one division.
Introduction to American StudiesAmerican Studies 101A An introduction to the field of American studies, defined both by the range of materials covered (essays, novels, autobiographies, photographs, historical documents, etc.) and by the questions asked about them, including: How have different Americans imagined what it means to be an American? What ideas about national history, patriotism, and moral character shape their visions of being American?
Colonial English AmericaAmerican Studies 101B cross-listed: historical studiesThis course traces the deeply fraught history of the English colonies in America, beginning with English piracy in the Caribbean and concluding in the early years of the Revolution, when the outcome of that rebellion was still unclear.
Introduction to American Culture and ValuesAmerican Studies 102 This course develops the assumption that Americans define their differences more through their culture than their politics or else they politicize their cultural differences. Examples studied include the Scopes trial and battles over drugs, abortion rights, and environmental justice.