In 2023–24, the College will again offer a suite of multidisciplinary Common Courses created specifically for Lower College students. Cohort building and connected liberal arts learning will be integral to all Common Course offerings. Second-year students will be given priority in registration prior to Moderation in their fourth semester and first-year students are invited to register after that for available seats.
Features of the Common Courses
While themes may change from semester to semester, all Common Courses are designed to:
(1) Bring together teams of three or more faculty to offer a course that will engage a theme/question of contemporary relevance through the study of transformative humanistic texts while adopting multidisciplinary perspectives and enabling students to fulfill two distribution requirements.
(2) Emphasize cohort-building and collaborative learning.
Each faculty team designs shared elements of the course and smaller group experiences with the proviso that two distribution areas and different disciplinary approaches will be given equal weight. This allows for innovative curricular development in each course and continuity of instruction across all common course offerings. Common Courses give entering first-year students an opportunity to fulfill two distribution requirements with one four-credit class.
Carbon and the Humanities
Photo by Aya Rebai HRA ’24
Seeding the Dye Garden at the Bard Farm
with Artist-in-Residence Beka Goedde
Dyeing with natural dyes from Bard campus is the studio practice of the common course Rooted and Mobile: The World of Natural Dyes, which was cotaught by the faculty team Heeryoon Shin, Beka Goedde, Simeen Sattar, and Thena Tak in fall 2023. In late summer and early fall until the first frost in October, we harvest dye plants and mordants from the Bard Farm, Community Garden and from around our campus, to use as fresh colorants to dye cotton fabric and paper. In November and December, we work with preserved and dried plant matter. In 2023, Bard’s Dye Garden at the two sites on campus was funded by the Rethinking Place initiative at Bard as a research site for native and non-native plants, and our research is ongoing with a collaborator from the Stockbridge-Munsee community.