What's New in the Classroom?

Kenyon's grounding in the liberal arts means that the curriculum evolves but doesn't radically change. From year to year, students can count on finding courses where they'll learn about Aristotle or the Analects, ions or Ionesco. But each semester, faculty members supplement the tried-and-true with new offerings that reflect current trends in scholarship, novel approaches to timeless themes, issues in the headlines, and their own research. Here are a few of the new courses for 2007-08.

"Biological Scaling: Why Size Matters." How does size determine the form, function, pace, and complexity of life? Taught by Assistant Professor of Biology Andrew J. Kerkhoff

"What Makes a Chinese Hero?" Chinese identity draws on stories about valiant warriors, loyal bandits, and socialist martyrs, and those stories reflect cultural changes through history. Taught by Assistant Professor of Chinese Jie Zhang

"Gravitation." Two seminars, one for first-year students and one more advanced, look at the physics of nature's most familiar, most mysterious force. Taught by Professor of Physics Benjamin W. Schumacher

"Bear Stories: Humanness and the Wild." Bear stories, both actual and figurative, function as archetypal tales. Think Faulkner's "The Bear," the Brothers Grimm, and Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, not Disney). Taught by Janet E. McAdams, associate professor of English and the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in Poetry

"Random Structures." The course will explore the theory, structure, applications, and interesting consequences when probability is introduced to mathematical objects. Taught by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Brian D. Jones

"Mind, Perception, and Film." Film has its own temporal and spatial structure, yet people easily understand and are moved by film. What does film teach us about who we are? Taught by Associate Professor of Philosophy Joel F. Richeimer

"Immigration, Citizenship, and National Identity." In both North America and Europe, recent waves of immigration pose profound questions for national identity. Issues range from the character of citizenship to strategies for assimilation. Team-taught by Associate Professor of Political Science Pamela G. Camerra-Rowe and Professor of Political Science Joseph L. Klesner