Spring 2021 Courses
A Community Health Approach to Social Emergencies, American Racism, and Firearm Injury Prevention
Instructor: Christopher Barsotti
This course introduces students to the confluence of factors related to firearm injury – a leading cause of premature death in the United States. Sessions will explore multi-level health strategies that may be developed to prevent and treat firearm injury in American society. Students will gain exposure and experience in program design by creating, operationalizing, and evaluating the impact of a novel, narrative-based educational framework for community outreach that unifies community stakeholders with their health systems, healthcare providers, and first responders. Readings will involve both real-world programmatic documents/evaluations as well as peer-reviewed journal articles.
Course Dates: Mon/Thurs | 10:00-11:50 am ET | February 18-April 1
Art in Captivity: The Images, Sounds, and Rhetoric of Freedom
Instructor: Vivian Nixon
The course will expand on the initial ideas presented in the Fall workshop, Blood, Sweat, and Tears which focused on the work of contemporary justice artist Russell Craig. Through work that is both confrontational and contemplative, Craig’s pieces create a platform to help unify all who have struggled through trauma and advocate for positive change. Russell often describes his art as his expression of the trauma he feels under the weight of white supremacy and the structural violence it supports. Others Black artist throughout American history have done the same things. We will look at others artists who have developed art in or post-release from prison during the era of Mass Incarceration, compare it with the art of Black people in each of four eras that precede Mass Incarceration: Slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Ghettoization. The goal is to encourage students to view issues of race and justice through the multidisciplinary prism of humanities, social sciences and history.
Course Dates: Thursdays | 10:00-11:50 am ET | April 8-May 27
Beyond Plastic Pollution
Instructor: Judith Enck
Beyond Plastic Pollution is a public policy course that focuses on the systemic reasons why millions of tons of plastics enter the ocean each year. This cutting-edge class will focus on the how plastic pollution is an urgent climate change issue; how the plastics industry spins the myth that we can recycle our way out of the problem; environmental justice and the the health impacts of plastic production and use. Students will discuss innovative alternatives to plastics and what each of us can do to address this growing problem. This will be a particularly useful class for those who want to tackle this issue in their own community, state, school campus, and nation. There will be a very strong focus on public action. The entire class will take place on Zoom, once a week and in the evening.
Course Dates: Wednesdays | 7:00-8:50 pm ET | February 17-March 31
Human Rights and COVID-19
Instructor: Andrea Galindo, Human Rights Lawyer
States are not responsible for COVID-19, but they are responsible for how they respond to it. The virus cannot be used as an excuse to roll back on fundamental human rights. Human rights are universal legal guarantees that protect individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Under international human rights law, states have the responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill human rights for all. It is both a legal and practical responsibility. States formalize this responsibility when they sign and ratify international treaties. As fear and anxiety around COVID-19 spreads around the world, many people are starting to ask difficult questions about how the pandemic will impact our human rights. Are border controls necessary for containing the virus? Do quarantines or curfews impose by States violate our right to move freely? How are our rights to protest and freedom of expression affected by these limitations? In times like these, it is even more important for us to be able to speak confidently about what states are obligated to do to protect human rights. The course will discuss what are human rights and the many human rights implications of a global pandemic, including limitations on right to health, right to free speech and an increase in discrimination and xenophobia. It will also analyze states’ human rights obligations and what they should and should not do when responding to a pandemic.
Information is powerful, so during the course we’ll discuss things that you can do to share what you’ve learned and help amplify a message of hope and solidarity around the world.
Course Dates: Tues/Fri | 8:30-10:30 am ET | April 6, 13, 16, 20, 23, & 27
Is This Land Made for You and Me?
Instructors: Brian Campion, Susan Sgorbati, Donald Campbell, & Andrew Schlatter
This course will address Land Use in Vermont through the perspectives of land as a geographical and historical resource, land as the policies and practices of management and stewardship of public and private property, and land as components of the built environment, specifically looking at the Bennington region and Bennington College. Issues of racial and economic justice, as well as public policy and zoning/planning will all be examined. Steps for a more equitable, sustainable, and progressive use of the land in our region and at the College will be generated for the future.
Course Dates: Mon/Thurs | 10:00-11:50 am ET | February 18-May 27
Instructor: Vahidin Omanovic, Director of the Center for Peacebuilding in Bosnia
This module will serve as an introduction to the work of Peacebuilding around the world, both in theory and practice. Vahidin Omanovic will be joining us to reflect on his work and introduce us to key topics in peacebuilding. They include peacebuilding in a local community, obstacles for peace, identity, discrimination, and methods of sustainable peacebuilding.
Course Dates: Tues/Fri | 10:30 am-12:20 pm ET | April 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, & 26
Registration is now open!
- Members of our community, alumni, friends of the College, and other lifelong learners can take classes at a reduced cost relative to our normal per-credit fee: $400 per credit (for credit and a transcript) or $100 per credit audit fee
- High school juniors and seniors in Vermont may be eligible to take up to two courses with tuition fully reimbursed through VT’s Dual Enrollment Program. If you are not eligible, tuition is: $400 per credit (for credit and transcript) or $100 per credit audit fee