Academics Navigation


Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.

American Studies

Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2020
Designated Writing

This course traces the emergence and development of a consumer oriented culture in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. We will explore the relationship between consumer culture and democracy, between places of consumption and places of production (leisure and work), between consumer goods and activities and issues of social identity, particularly relating to gender, class and race. We will also pay attention to movements and organizations which have resisted or challenged aspects of a dominant consumer culture. By the end of the course, students should have an understanding of the history of consumer culture in its related economic, political, social and cultural dimensions and an ability to read critically the messages and structures of contemporary consumer society. The class is designed to allow students to pursue particular research interests throughout the semester.

History of Feminisms in the U.S.
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2010

An exploration of the multiple and often conflicting feminisms which have shaped U.S. history from the 19th century to the present. Emphasis on the second and third waves, on the relationship between feminist thought and political organizing, and on generational divisions across time. Opportunity for students to pursue in-depth research on topics of their own choosing. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2014
Designated Writing

This course offers a wide ranging exploration of the multiple and often conflicting meanings of the democratic tradition in the U.S. from the colonial era through the Civil War. Areas of inquiry include the history of slavery, the intellectual and social milieux of the Revolutionary generation, the struggle to ratify the Constitution, the rise of mass political organizations in the nineteenth century, the expansion of a market economy, and the ideology of providential mission and destiny as a force in American politics. This course is strongly recommended for students anticipating future work in American Studies. Prerequisite: None

History of Political Life in the U.S. II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2015
Designated Writing

How have different social groups, in different historical contexts, struggled to define and organize public life in the United States? In exploring this question, the course offers a thematically organized survey of U.S. history from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the present. Central issues to be explored include the nature of democracy in an era marked by a centralization of political and economic power, the role of mass culture in shaping ideas of freedom and the good life, the struggle over national identity in the context of multiculturalism, and the history of social protest in affecting change. The course advances a definition of "politics" which links these issues not simply to the laws, structures and operations of  government but to a more inclusive set of institutions and practices and to an understanding of political life that incorporates how people imagine and represent the social order. Prerequisite: None

Materials & Methods in American Studies
( Variable Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2014

A junior level seminar that draws on the particular research interests of beginning Plan students to explore a variety of methodological approaches and source materials in American Studies. This course may be taken for 2-4 credits.  Prerequisite:  Permission of instructor

Senior Seminar in American Studies
(2.00 Credits — Advanced)

Spring 2015

The semester is organized around the different research topics of seniors doing Plan work in American Studies. Students will present research in progress and read and critique each other's writing. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor  Note:  The class only meets on Tuesdays.

The Family in U.S. History II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2014
Designated Writing

The course traces the history of family life in the US from the late nineteenth century to the present. Drawing on an interdisciplinary range of readings from History, Sociology, Anthropology and Gender Studies, we will explore how the family has both affected and been affected by the major historical developments of the past century. Topics to be examined include changing conceptions of marriage, child rearing and sexuality; the ongoing debate over family values as it relates to public policy; and the contested and shifting relationship between feminism and the family. The course is designed to highlight how cultural meanings and experiences of family life have changed over time and how those meanings and experiences have been shaped by race, class, ethnicity and gender. Prerequisite: None

For American Studies offerings, also see:

African-American Political Thought
After 9/11
American Political Thought
Apocalyptic Hope: the Literature of the American Renaissance
First Contact: Voices of America's Frontiers
Jazz: History and Culture
Local History
Tell about the South: the South in the American Literary Imagination
The Land Ethic and Other Signs of Hope
The Making of the Contemporary World
Who Owns the Land?
Writing Seminar: Crime & Punishment
Writing Seminar: Exploring the (New) New Journalism


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)