Nature and Enlightenment (Faull)
In the Fall of 2011, Katherine Faull introduced a new course into the Comparative Humanities program, entitled “Nature and Enlightenment: Europeans, Native Americans and the Susquehanna.” This interdisciplinary course examines the interconnectedness of Enlightenment notions of what it means to be human, what it means to live in nature, and how the two interacted on the Susquehanna River. The course examines the moments of shared vocabularies of existence between the Native Americans and Europeans, especially as they pertain to Nature, the environment and the human body as a way to highlight the other path that might have been taken in the European settlement of this land.
Visions of the Susquehanna (Siewers)
Alfred K. Siewers developed the course Visions of the Susquehanna as part of the Bucknell on the Susquehanna program in 2011; it examined how early American views of nature developed along the Susquehanna River. Students explored how the works of James Fenimore Cooper and those of his daughter Susan reimagined the source of the Susquehanna River in the early nineteenth century. By writing literary landscapes to fill the perceived cultural vacuum left by an earlier era of Indian removal, they also contributed to a critique of American subjugation (in the name of what became known as Manifest Destiny) of both nature and native peoples.
Susquehanna Country (Faull and Siewers)
In Fall 2012 Professors Faull and Siewers brought elements from their two courses, Nature and Enlightenment and Visions of the Susquehanna together to form a new Interdisciplinary Perspectives class, called Susquehanna Country. The class was cross-listed in three separate academic departments or programs; English, Environmental Studies and Comparative Humanities. Aimed at those primarily in their second year at Bucknell, the course attracted students from many disciplines. It was also listed as a writing course, and satisfied the curricular requirements for Environmental Connections, Arts and Humanities Learning Goals, and Community-Based Learning.
These two courses form a project-based approach to the Stories of the Susquehanna by introducing students to the world of digital humanities through the use of selected digital tools and methods of analysis. Students engage with Stories of the Susquehanna-associated research to engage in the research process typical for a humanities scholar: namely, the discovery of artifacts, the formulation of research questions, followed by the analysis and synthesis of findings culminating in the publication of initial findings in a digital medium.
Digitizing the River (Faull and Siewers)
The new digital humanities-centric design of Susquehanna Country course will incorporate extensive digital humanities engagement and analysis of cultural, historical, and environmental aspects of the Susquehanna region and Bucknell’s place within it.