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Bard College Catalogue, 2019–20
Affiliated Programs and Institutes
Campus-Based Programs, Centers, and InitiativesThe following programs offer opportunities for undergraduate students to attend talks, conferences, and other events, and to participate in noncredit-bearing programs, workshops, and internships to supplement their studies.
Bard Center for the Study of Land, Air, and Water The mission of the Center is to develop accessible and community-based solutions to local and regional environmental problems. Projects are created and run by Bard College faculty, students, and staff, alongside community members from throughout the Hudson Valley. The Center conducts quantitative research in the natural and social sciences with community members; responds to local residents’ questions about land, air, and water; and participates in policy making. Some of the issues raised by the community are tackled in courses across multiple academic disciplines. Key projects include the Bard Water Lab, which monitors the Saw Kill, Roe Jan, and other regional waterways; the Bard Land Lab, which connects science with regional farming communities; the Sustainable Solutions Lab, which develops and evaluates creative approaches to energy and resource management; and the Saw Kill Watershed Community, which advocates for the equitable management of local water resources. To learn more, visit landairwater.bard.edu.
Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) BPI offers credit-bearing course work to incarcerated students at six prisons in New York State. For a full description of this program, see "Educational Initiatives" or visit bpi.bard.edu.
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 additional information, see “Civic Engagement” in this catalogue or visit bard.edu/civicengagement.
Center for Moving Image Arts (CMIA) The mission of the Center is twofold: to facilitate the study of cinema’s history and future in an interdisciplinary environment focused primarily on undergraduate education, and to bring various aspects of film culture—public screenings, publications, educational initiatives, and archival development—under the same umbrella. The “moving image arts” rubric extends broadly from the 19th century to the contemporary moment, and CMIA’s primary goal is to secure, exhibit, and contextualize major works of cinematic art from all periods and regions, some of which will become part of the permanent collection. The CMIA launch season included extensive 35mm retrospectives of filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock, Josef von Sternberg, and Michael Powell. CMIA’s first major international retrospective project—focused on Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien—traveled to prominent venues around the world from 2014 to 2016. Past CMIA programs have included “Color,” “Cinematic Romanticisms,” and “Remembering the Great War.” All programs are open to the entire Bard community, and the Center coordinates a number of educational workshops and internship programs for students. Richard Suchenski, associate professor of film and electronic arts, is the Center’s founder and director. To learn more, visit bard.edu/cmia.
Center for the Study of the Drone The Center for the Study of the Drone is an interdisciplinary research and education initiative working to understand the implications of unmanned systems technology in both civilian and military domains. The Center was founded in 2012 by Arthur Holland Michel ’13 and Dan Gettinger ’13, along with a group of Bard College faculty members. The Center conducts in-depth original research; sponsors undergraduate seminars, student research initiatives, and paid internships; provides educational resources to the public; and works closely with media organizations to improve news coverage of unmanned systems technology. The Center’s website, dronecenter.bard.edu, features reports, interviews, research resources, and a weekly roundup of news, commentary, analysis, and technology.
Chinua Achebe Center The Achebe Center was established in 2005 to continue the legacy of the late Nigerian novelist and critic Chinua Achebe, who taught at Bard from 1990 to 2011. The Center sponsors readings, panels, and other events on campus, and has played host to visiting African performers, artists, scholars, and statesmen.
Distinguished Scientist Scholars Summer Research Scholarship Moderated scholarship recipients may apply for a stipend (up to $1,500) for summer research projects following the sophomore and junior years. Applications for a stipend are made through the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing.
Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities The Arendt Center sponsors courses on Hannah Arendt and topics connected to its annual fall conference, which this year addresses racism and anti-Semitism. The Center also hosts lectures, special events, and themed dinner parties where students and faculty come together to discuss contemporary issues; and cares for and makes available the Hannah Arendt Library, which houses nearly 5,000 books from Arendt’s personal library, many with marginalia and notes. Additionally, the Center oversees a variety of programs—the Courage to Be, Plurality Project, Tough Talk Lecture Series, Dorm Room Conversations, and the American Jewish Peace Archive—that combine conferences, courses, symposia, blogs, and oral histories to bring Arendt’s fearless style of thinking to a broad audience. Above all, the Arendt Center provides an intellectual space for passionate, uncensored, nonpartisan thinking that reframes and deepens the fundamental questions facing our nation and our world.
Bard undergraduates can take Arendt Center reading seminars alongside graduate student fellows. In 2015–16, the Center introduced The Practice of Courage, a seminar open to sophomores and juniors that was part of the Courage to Be Program. The Center also provides opportunities for students to serve as program fellows, research assistants, media interns, and blog contributors. To learn more about the Center and its activities, visit hac.bard.edu. To subscribe to the Center’s mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 biodiversity mapping and assessment, conservation science of rare species and their habitats, wetland and aquatic ecology, the Hudson River, urban biodiversity, and ecology and management of non-native plants. Student interns and employees participate in project work, collections management, and research collaborations. Some current subjects are assessment of the biological impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, studies of rare plants and animals in wetlands and other habitats, documentation of the interactions of weeds with other biota and people, management of a regional herbarium, and the education of professionals in land use and conservation. To learn more, visit 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 collaborations include projects on human rights forensics (with the Forensic Architecture agency at Goldsmiths, University of London), the intersections between the visual arts and human rights (with the Center for Curatorial Studies), workers’ rights in the Hudson Valley (with the Worker Justice Center in Kingston, New York), and migration (through a consortium with Bard College Berlin, Vassar College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Bennington College). HRP supports Human Rights Radio, a broadcast and podcast series on contemporary rights issues; The Draft, a student-led discussion forum and journal; the Center for the Study of the Drone, an independent research and analysis group on drones in military and civilian contexts; and the Center for the Study of Hate, a new initiative focused on understanding and combating hate. The Project, together with the Center for Curatorial Studies, annually selects and hosts the Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism. HRP also sponsors a regular lecture and film series on campus. 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, media outlets, community groups, hospitals and clinics, and research centers from Montgomery, Alabama, to Cairo, Egypt. To learn more about HRP activities, visit hrp.bard.edu.
Institute of Advanced Theology (IAT) The Institute began its program of local discussion among professional theologians in 1988, and on that basis developed research projects, interdisciplinary conferences, and focused sequences of lectures. The great majority of events are open to the public, and membership is offered for those who wish to take advantage of the full range of activities. By special arrangement, members of the Institute may pursue higher degrees with the Graduate Theological Foundation. To learn more, visit 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 “Educational Initiatives” or visit bard.edu/iwt.
John Cage Trust The John Cage Trust was created in 1993 to maintain and nurture the artistic legacy of John Cage, the late American composer, philosopher, poet, and visual artist. Since 2007, the Trust has been in residence at Bard College, and in 2013 that residency became permanent. 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 johncage.org.
Laboratory for Algebraic and Symbolic Computation (ASC) Bard’s ASC Laboratory is committed to the advancement of the state of mathematical knowledge through computing. ASC’s goal is to extend the capabilities of existing theorem provers, model searchers, and computer algebra systems through improved connectivity and knowledge management. Current domains of interest include universal algebra and the constraint satisfaction problem. At ASC, Bard faculty, students, and staff work together to produce new theorems and algorithms, solve intricate problems within metadata design, and develop websites that integrate several complex software systems.
Landscape and Arboretum Program at Bard College The Landscape and Arboretum Program is charged with promoting tree conservation and preservation on the Bard campus. As a long-standing Tree Campus USA college in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation and a Level II accredited arboretum with ArbNet, an international community of arboreta and tree-focused professionals, the Bard Arboretum offers an annual Arbor Day tree celebration, campus garden tours, and lectures. Additionally, the Arboretum offers a summer internship and work-study positions to several undergraduate students each year.
With the recent acquisition of Montgomery Place, the Bard campus is home to several of New York’s biggest tree species, as listed on the New York Big Tree Registry. In 2017, the Arboretum established the Friends of Blithewood Garden in partnership with the Garden Conservancy to rehabilitate the architectural elements of the historic Beaux Arts garden. For up-to-date information on events and courses, visit bard.edu/arboretum.
Rift Valley Institute (RVI) The Rift Valley Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization, founded in Sudan in 2001 and currently working in seven countries in Eastern and Central Africa. The aim of the Institute is to advance knowledge of the region and its diverse communities, bringing understanding of local realities to bear on social and political action. In those countries where government structures are intact and educational institutions remain functional, RVI offers specialist services to development agencies, universities, and research organizations. Where war has disrupted government and eroded civic life, the Institute aligns itself with researchers and community activists—from the region and its diasporas—in an effort to sustain local institutions and restore standards of research and public information. In 2014 RVI was ranked in the top 10 in the University of Pennsylvania’s list of leading think tanks in Eastern Africa.
RVI programs are designed for long-term impact: shaping aid interventions, expanding space for public participation in policy, supporting local research capacity, preserving communal histories, and promoting social justice. Current programs include the Nairobi Forum, which sponsors a continuing series of seminars and public meetings designed to facilitate discussion between policy makers, researchers, and community leaders in the region; and the Customary Authorities Project, which works with young South Sudanese researchers to document the changing role of traditional leadership in South Sudan, using field-based oral history and community meetings. The Institute is implementing justice and security projects in Somalia and Somaliland, and a program for the conservation and digitization of the National Archive of South Sudan. RVI is a signatory of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2001); all Institute publications are free for download from riftvalley.net.
The Institute’s U.S. office is located at Bard College. John Ryle, Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard, is cofounder of RVI and was executive director until 2017. He is currently lead researcher on the South Sudan Customary Authorities Project. The U.S. board of the Institute consists of Ryle, Kwame Anthony Appiah (New York University), and Kenneth Anderson (American University). Bard students have various opportunities to assist with RVI activities, including editing video material, remote collaboration on the Customary Authorities Project, and working on a new project involving visual documentation of East African textiles. The Institute sponsors talks, films, and other events on campus.