Identities: Mirrors and Windows

Exploring Identities

Put yourself under the microscope (literally and figuratively!) by exploring the diverse components that factor into the construction of the self. Watch preview video to learn more about this neighborhood.

FALL 2018


Identities: Mirrors and Windows

Who do you see when you look in the “mirror”? How does your self-image relate to the view beyond your own “window”? As the title of our neighborhood suggests, the study of identity is fundamentally the study of context.  In IMW, we will examine the communities and networks that shape the ways that we exist in and interact with the world around us. As we analyze these intersections between self and community, we will come to understand how people of diverse backgrounds impact, and are impacted by, the larger social, cultural, natural, and physical networks of which we all are a part.  What you learn in our neighborhood will ultimately empower you to take meaningful and responsible action as citizens of the world – a goal that is central to our College’s overarching mission.

John Grau

Sing Your Heart Out
CRN: 90308
Transcript Title: Voice Class and Identity
Course Number: IMW200A.1
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course

One of the most personal traits that we possess is our voice.  When robbed of the ability to speak, people often report a loss of identity or a loss of expression.  Understanding how the human voice works and how to maintain it is of tremendous importance in all careers.  In this course, we will look under the microscope and explore the physical capabilities of the human voice and identity expression through Classical solo singing and performance. This course will use individual singing and music to explore the possibilities for identity expression.  Through intentional song selection and assignment, we will portray characters from different backgrounds and identities.  We will improve overall vocal health and function through the study of vocal anatomy and physiology, which will allow for more confident, clear speech and will help foster individual identity expression.  We will also consider the role that music plays in individual, group, and brand identity expression. The skills that will be gained from this course are applicable to any career or focus.


Missy Barnes

Women in Theatre
CRN:  90309
Transcript Title: Women in Theatre
Course Number: IMW200A.2
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course
How does theatre reflect our understanding of identity in relation to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and sexuality? Theatre represents the human condition within the contexts of specific historical and cultural moments. This course will focus on plays that investigate what it means to be human in the face of social conflict and the outcomes that result from intolerance. During the course of the semester, students will read a variety of plays and discuss, as well as write about, the issues presented within each play. In past semesters we have read a minimum of ten plays, including such works as "A Raisin in the Sun," "Disgraced," "The Elephant Man," and "Looking for Normal."
Caitlin Mohr
Songs from the Soul
CRN: 90310
Transcript Title: Songs from the Soul
Course Number: IMW 200A.3
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course

This course will examine song literature through the perspectives of the poet, composer and performer. Elements of song will be examined in repertoire from Copland to Lady Gaga to Hamilton the musical. Students will reflect on the breadth of their personal experiences and expression of self-identity in relation to a diverse community of artists of the past and present.


Mario D'Amato

Mind and Mediatation
CRN: 90314
Transcript Title: Mind and Mediatation
Course Number: IMW200H.1
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course
This course will focus on accounts regarding how the self is constructed according to Buddhist philosophy, and Western philosophy of mind and cognitive science. We will examine what the philosopher Michel Foucault has referred to as “technologies of the self,” i.e., techniques that have been employed by individuals to “transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom.” So we will consider the construction of identities, and examine techniques that have been employed to function as mirrors and windows for the construction of self, through studying the theory of Buddhist meditation.

James Driggers

Queered Landscapes Identity and Community in Transition
CRN: 90315
Transcript Title: Queered Landscapes
Course Number: IMW200H.2
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course
The course includes study of selected works by and about bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender individuals. Representative works discussed are chosen to illustrate portrayals of individual identity and life as well as political and changes in the GLBTQ community over time -- from a period of "invisibility," through the AIDS crisis, into the present, looking at the struggles unique to each generation.

Stacey Coffman-Rosen

Disabilities, Bodies, and Identities
CRN: 90751
Transcript Title:Disability,Body, Identity
Course Number: IMW200H.3
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course; Counts as 200-level elective in Critical Media and Culture Studies major.

How do we relate to bodies, minds, and identities that are different than our own, and how does that determine our place in a changing society? In this course, we will examine how disabilities, bodies, and identities intersect and determine how we interpret and occupy bodies in intersecting categories. Course topics include: media and disability; becoming disabled; disability, race, gender, and sexual orientation; Deafness and Deaf culture; aesthetics and fashion; disability and sports; and “outsider” sexuality. You will examine your own "body politic," and the bodies of others. Course readings will be supplemented with film, cultural artifacts, personal writing, and interactive projects.


Suzanne Woodward

Identity and the Social Self
CRN: 90315
Course Number: IMW200S.1
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course
Identity and the Social Self will be an in-depth examination of research and theory in social psychology related to such topics as gender norms related to helping behavior, court accuracy of eyewitnesses, treatment of stress and illness, the role of evolution and culture in attraction, prejudice and social inequalities, and conformity and obedience.  Our sense of self is formed in part by our social interactions.  This course will explore how our social groups inform and create out individual identities.

Stephanie Guittar

Intersections of the Latinx Experience in the U.S.
CRN: 90311
Transcript Title: Intersections of Latinxs
Course Number: IMW200C.1
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course

This course presents an overview of the Latinx experience in the United States with special focus on intersectionality, stereotypes, and identity formation and management. In this course, we will answer questions such as: Who makes up Latinxs in the U.S.? How is the Latinx experience similar/different to other ethnic groups in the U.S.? How do social institutions affect Latinxs’ identity and life chances? Topics include but are not limited to: Latinx identity, family and household structure, gender roles, sexuality, educational attainment, labor force participation, and health outcomes among Latinxs living in the U.S.


Vincent Melograno

Sport in Perspective:  Institutions, Culture, and Globalization
CRN:  90312 / 90313
Course Number: IMW200C.2
Prerequisite: One 100-level Neighborhood course

This course explores sport as a worldwide institution and how it functions in relation to and in conflict with other institutions. The interaction between sport and cultures is critically analyzed relative to ethical/moral decision making, diversity, and deviant behaviors. The globalization of sport reflecting our increasingly connected world is examined.


Lucy Littler

Racial Fictions
CRN: 90317
Transcript Title: Racial Fictions
Course Number: IMW300.1
Prerequisites: One 100-level and at least two 200-level Neighborhood courses, MCMP and WCMP

Is race fact or fiction? Like a novel, is “race” designed to draw audiences in and solicit their belief in its version of the truth? Or is it more than a story? Is “race” a reality that meaningfully impacts individuals, communities, and ideologies? Rooted in the study of 20 c. American literature and using multiple disciplinary lenses to enrich our examination, our course will consider these compelling questions—not only how we answer, but also the implications and consequences of asking, and what we do with our developing perspectives.


Lisa Tillmann

Body Liberation, Food Justice
CRN: 90319
Transcript Title: Body Liberation, Food Justice
Course Number: IMW300
Prerequisites: One 100-level and at least two 200-level Neighborhood courses, MCMP and WCMP competencies. FCMP and third 200-level neighborhood course may be taken concurrently. This course could substitute for CMC320, SEB/SE, GBH, PPE, or SWAG elective.

Whose interests are served by ways we relate to our bodies, to others’ bodies, to eating, and to food? In the arenas of body and food, who has what kind of power? Who profits and at whose expense? How can we resist and promote healthier relationships with body and food?


Jennifer Cavenaugh

The Practice of Social Justice Performing Reisistance
CRN: 90318
Transcript Title: Practicing Social Justice
Course Number: IMW300.2
Prerequisites: One 100-level and at least two 200-level Neighborhood courses, MCMP and WCMP

This course asks students to reflect on how their own identity has been shaped by power and privilege (or the absence thereof) and then asks them to identify and analyze systems of oppression at work in their own community. Finally, it empowers them with tools to create a specific positive social action to address a problem they have identified in their community. Students will build upon their previous IMW coursework to create an autobiography that explores how their own identity has been shaped by power and privilege (or the absence thereof). The course will then utilize the techniques of Augusto Boal's "Theater of the Oppressed" to empower students to address one aspect of oppression through community based advocacy or activism. As part of this class, you will engage in community-based experiences through service-learning projects and individual engagement with local community organizations, using your previous skills and knowledge to address one of the community partner’s needs. In addition to taking your learning outside of the classroom and engaging with local community organizations, you will also reflect on how you would like to put your knowledge to use after graduation.