Beloit College faculty will teach four different Summer Fields courses in 2013. Students choose one course.
- Creative Writing Workshop: Fish, Fowl, Flood, Water Lily, Mud: Water in the Literary Imagination
- Introduction to Drawing and Design
- Why Museums Matter
Creative Writing Workshop: Fish, Fowl, Flood, Water Lily, Mud: Water in the Literary Imagination
Instructor: Chris Fink
This course takes its title from the first lines of Lorine Niedecker’s poem “Paean to Place.” Niedecker, Wisconsin’s most famous poet—and a student at Beloit College from 1920-1922—grew up in a one room cabin on the Rock River in nearby Fort Atkinson and lived most of her life there. There was neither electricity nor plumbing in the cabin, and the Rock River often barged in her front door. Despite—or perhaps because of—these conditions, Niedecker wrote some of the leanest and most boldly original poetry America has ever seen. Nearly all of Niedecker’s poetry is informed by her proximity to that particular confluence of bottomland and water. In this creative writing workshop we’ll study the poetry of Niedecker as well as the work of other literary artists inspired by water and affected by place, including Annie Dillard, Mark Twain, and Aldo Leopold. Some writers, like Niedecker, we’ll find purely poetic or expressive, while others, like Leopold, blend science and art with a conservationist’s agenda. Besides reading and learning to better appreciate and respond to literature and nature-based writing, students and their seminar leader will also take pilgrimages to local waters—the Rock River, Niedecker’s cabin, which still stands, the Horicon Marsh and Turtle Creek—where we’ll get wet. Using the authors on the syllabus as models, we’ll create some of our own creative work inspired by water. By the end of the course, students will have written and revised two works of creative nonfiction, one short work of fiction and three poems.
Introduction to Drawing and Design
Instructor: Scott Espeseth
Students who take the Beloit summer fields course Introduction to Drawing and Design are in for an intensive exploration of visual fundamentals. Think art foundations boot camp. Through hands-on projects, we will delve into the basics of seeing via observational drawing, while gaining a firm grounding in the core grammar of visual communication. With the campus of Beloit College as our studio, we will move between facilities and media, and will experience traditional drawing materials, as well as digital media, printmaking, and interdisciplinary practices. The students will be expected to not only master techniques, but to explore and challenge their own voices as artists, and to begin to find their place in the broader dialog of contemporary art. In all, students can expect to gain a well-rounded set of skills, vocabulary, and experiences to prepare them for further study in the visual arts.
Then Leave! by Scott Espeseth, www.scottespeseth.com
Why Museums Matter
Instructors: Dan Bartlett and Nicolette Meister
In Why Museums Matter, students will explore museums and how they enrich our lives. Students will learn about the history of museums as well as museum education, interpretation, and collections care and stewardship. Students will gain hands-on experience researching, interpreting, and preserving diverse collections from around the world, using the campus museums—Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art—as laboratories along with collections in the College archives and Science Center. By engaging students directly with collections and other museum resources, this course empowers students to become “critical museum goers”: knowledgeable about museum practice as it relates to civic engagement, cultural property, controversy, and the representation of other peoples and their art and history. Students will curate an exhibit, learn how to properly care for and store artifacts, and develop interpretive programs, while improving their research and writing skills. Field trips will take students to art, natural history, living history, and children’s museums, as well as an arboretum.