Institutional News

Understanding and Responding to COVID-19, Quarantine, and Crisis

Bennington College is hosting a pop-up course this summer—Understanding and Responding to COVID-19, Quarantine, and Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Course—in which members of the Bennington faculty and others look at the unfolding COVID-19 crisis across disciplines, from anthropology to mathematical modeling to poetry to film. Students will be asked to design a research or artistic project as part of the course.


Course Description: 

The unfolding crisis brought on by the spread of COVID-19 is changing our world every day. This pandemic that upended the economy, reshaped politics, and altered the ways we socialize cannot be understood simply epidemiologically. Bennington’s interdisciplinary approach to the most pressing issues of our time uniquely situates us to engage with the many ways this crisis is unfolding.

This two-credit course is composed of a dozen sessions with members of the Bennington community -- faculty, alums and community members -- based around a series of talks and discussion sessions. It brings together scientists, writers, and artists to discuss how they are thinking about and responding to the current crisis. Students will be asked to reflect upon their own response either through a research paper or creative project. 


Participating faculty members include: 

Benjamin Anastas (literature); Lopamudra Banerjee (economics); David Bond (anthropology); Noah Coburn (anthropology); Kathryn Montovan (math); Mark Wunderlich (poetry). Additional speakers, including faculty members, alumni and other experts, will be added in the coming weeks. 



Weekly discussion sessions will look at the concepts discussed by each speaker.

The major assignment in the course will be for the student to design their own response to the crisis, whether a research project or artistic project, that they will submit at the end of the course. Students will be asked to submit a proposal in week three and an outline in week five which will then be workshopped in discussion sessions.

Any questions, please contact Noah Coburn (, who is coordinating the course.