The Deepwater Horizon Tragedy: A Scientific and Artistic Inquiry|
|Certificates: Environmental Studies|
This course is designed to provide students interested in art and the environment with a toolbox for exploration of the science behind the issues. The course will use the recent Deepwater Horizon tragedy as its focus. By exploring the gulf oil spill from both an artistic and scientific standpoint, students will learn the science of the Gulf Coast region and the ecological impact of the oil spill as well as artistic tools and methods that will enable them to understand the science at a deeper level, and make the research and the meaning of that research visible to an audience through their art.
In the wake of what is now being called the largest environmental disaster in United States history, this course explores both the human and scientific impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Co-taught by Barry Chernoff, director of the College of the Environmental and Leigh Fondakowski, head writer of THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a play based on interviews with the town of Laramie, Wyoming in the aftermath of the brutal beating and death of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, this course will teach students about the oil spill through the lens and research methods of a scientist and an artist which will result in final student projects that combine science and art content.
Students will travel with their instructors to the Gulf Coast for a 10-day trip, including visits to laboratories, research institutions, tours of the wetlands themselves, as well as visits to affected communities to meet the people who live there. Students will conduct interviews with the people of the towns. Travel, lodging and some meals will be provided by the course.
The course will include instruction, research, discussion, and the creation of original art work. Additionally, students will be asked to do readings and research ahead of the start of the class. This course is open to all who have a serious interest in producing art with environmental themes.
Designing, Creating, and Realizing
Students will design and create works of art in relation to the gulf oil disaster.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Students will be required to read a variety of articles and excerpts from both scholarly and popular books, and numerous media accounts related to the spill. Since we will be studying an ongoing issue, the course readings are subject to change. Students will be encouraged to do their own individual research and share the material that they discover with their peers.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Journaling: Because this class includes a visit to the areas affected by this tragedy, students will be asked to keep an on-going journal of the people they meet, the information they gather, and to log personal responses to their experiences.
Participation and attendance is mandatory and will be expected in class. This class will be immersive and intensive and will preclude participation in other classes in the summer session. The work schedule for creating new work is TBD depending on the studio/project needs of the individuals and/or groups. Students can presume a full time daily class schedule throughout the course, but particularly in weeks three through five. Students should come to the first class prepared to discuss assigned readings and viewings. As you read, write down any insights, questions, or comments you have and bring these with you to class.
Creating New Work: Throughout the month you will be expected to develop an artistic project related to the topic. This work can be in the artistic medium of your choosing: performance, film, visual, conceptual, music, writing and art history. While writing may be an essential component of the work, studnets will be strongly encouraged to combine their written work with another aspect of art or performance. Since Leigh Fondakowski is a theater artist and may be developing her own work from the source material, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with her directly in the creation of new work.
Presentation: You will be expected to have a first draft or version of your art piece or work to share in a formal public presentation at the end of the class.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Week one will consist of an introduction, lecture and discussion which will prepare students prior to our 10-day research trip to two locations on the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by the oil spill. On the artistic side, instruction will include interview technique and "Moment Work," a technique for writing performance.
Week two will entail travel together (10 days) to the Gulf Coast including visits to Tulane University, the City of New Orleans proper, and the towns of Thibodaux and Bayou LaFouche among other places TBD. Students will be engaged in research and scientific study as well as conduct interviews with the members of these communities.
Weeks three through five: upon returning, the material will be assembled, transcribed, discussed, and analyzed for both its artistic potential and scientific merit. Under the guidance of the instructors, individuals will generate original works either alone or in groups. Students will present their works-in-progress on an on-going basis for critique and analysis, completing the first phase or draft of their projects by the end of the course.
|Instructor(s): Chernoff,Barry Times: .MTWRF. 10:00AM-11:50AM; .MTWRF. 01:10PM-03:00PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 12||SR major: 2||JR major: 2|| || |
|Seats Available: 5||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 2||JR non-major: 2||SO: 2||FR: 2|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|