Place-Based American Studies examines essential themes in the literature and history of the United States through a lens that focuses on a fixed, place-based approach. This interdisciplinary, team-taught course also incorporates contributions from archaeology, cultural anthropology, politics, religion, film, and art. Rooted in serious research and off-campus experiences, including required field investigations to regional sites, students deconstruct the national narrative and develop a deeper connection to Sewanee, the Appalachian region, and the South. Projects of civic engagement and service learning are integral parts of this course. Potential texts include Ely: An Autobiography by Ely Green and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall as well as works by James Agee, William Faulkner, and Jesmyn Ward. For completion of this double-block, yearlong course, students receive credit in English (equivalent to two one-semester offerings) and History (equivalent to the graduation requirement in United States History). Note: Open only to juniors; also, students completing Place-Based American Studies will be ineligible to take American Literature I and II as seniors.
Introduction to Art History offers students a survey of the development of Western art and architecture from prehistoric through contemporary eras. Students will not only be exposed to the formal elements of visual expression – color, line, space, etc – but will also understand the importance of context in the creation of works of art.
In Special Studies Seminar, students experience the challenges and rewards of pursuing their individual intellectual interests at an advanced level. After discussing common readings that address the craft of research in noteworthy ways, students choose one of two tracks: humanities or sciences. Students then gain instruction and practice in research methods, laboratory techniques, or field investigations, and they produce a significant paper, project, or exhibition that brings together theoretical or veritable contributions from two or more disciplines. Finally, students participate in an academic conference, such as Scholarship Sewanee, and deliver oral presentations on their original work, thereby demonstrating competency in the new basics of collaboration, problem solving, and presentation skills. This team-taught seminar is appropriate for students with sustained interests across the curriculum, including humanities, arts, and sciences.