Interdisciplinary Studies


Affiliated Faculty: Al Beulig (Biology), Gordon Bauer (Psychology), Heidi Harley (Psychology), Sandra Gilchrist (Biology).

Students who are interested in studying whole organisms often want to learn about many aspects of those organisms including behavior, physiology, sensory systems, learning, cognition, neuroscience, communication, etc. Because these areas of focus occur in both biology and psychology and animal model systems are used by both biologists and psychologists in research, students pursuing this interdisciplinary AOC integrate work across these disciplines. Common paths for students who graduate in this area include animal training, veterinary school, graduate school in biology or psychology, zoo or aquarium technicians or managers, animal lab technicians, and medical school.

Typically, a student concentrating in Biopsychology emphasizes biology or psychology but takes a significant number of courses in the second discipline. Core courses include General Biology, Introductory Psychology, Animal Behavior, Cognitive Psychology, Statistics, and Biological Psychology after which students can select among advanced classes in Animal Learning, Comparative Cognition, Sensation and Perception, Neurobiology, Neuroanatomy, Coral Reef Ecology, and more.  All students should also take a lab or methods course that provides them with the skills to work with their thesis sponsor; most students take labs in both disciplines. Labs offered in biology include Animal Behaviour, Neurobiology, Invertebrate Zoology, and Neuroanatomy; labs offered in psychology include Comparative Cognition, Introduction to Comparative Cognition, and Animal Behavior Processes. Most students also participate in internships. Other courses reflect a student’s specific interests and are determined in consultation with the Biopsychology faculty.

Representative senior theses:

·          An Overview of the Psychology and Biology of Schizophrenia

·          Cognition and Memory in the Goldfish (Carassius auratus):  A Study Exploring the Novel Serotonin Anta

·          Optimal Metacontrast Masking of Chromatic Stimuli with and without Luminance Cues

·          Sex and Age-based Differences in the Hunting Behaviors of Schizocosa Spiders (Araneae:Lycosidae)

·          Vocal Productions of Rhythms by the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

·          Whistle Production Rates in a Group of Male Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Over Changes in Composition

·          The Identification of Cocaine-Induced Changes in the Human Monocyte Proteome Using Isotope-Coded AFF

·          Human Reproduction

·          Localization of Relaxin in the Reproductive System of the Male Bonnethead Shark, Sphyrna tiburo

·          Qualifying and Quantifying Reintroduction Success: A Discussion of Three Influential Interdisciplinary Criteria

·          Tool Use in River Otters (Lutra canadensis)

·          On the Delayed Maturation of the Adolescent Brain: Cognitive Refinement and Social Development

·          Studies in Ocular Dominance in Optokinetic Nystagmus

Environmental Studies

Faculty are drawn from throughout the College. The Environmental Studies Area of Concentration is coordinated by the Environmental Studies Steering Committee.

An interdisciplinary program, Environmental Studies draws students from varied backgrounds. Ideally students bring skills from several disciplines to bear on questions regarding the relationship between people and the environment. The program is built around five key concepts: scale, systems, place, values, and change. Environmental problems (and solutions) occur at different scales from local to global. Ecological systems, political systems, and social systems interact in complicated ways. Sense of place, place attachment and values are key factors that must be incorporated in successful solutions to environmental problems. Understanding change, and effecting change, are key skills for anyone working in the environmental field.

There has always been a risk in liberal arts education that knowledge will become detached from practice, that students will become intellectual jugglers of arcana, unable to affect the world. Recently undergraduate education has been criticized for disconnecting academic ideas and scholarship from social and environmental settings. The Environmental Studies Program seeks to "ground" students in two ways - first, by emphasizing demonstrated competence in real-world skills and second, by attempting to connect students with a landscape or community.

The Environmental Studies Program emphasizes demonstrated competence in these areas: understanding of ecological theory; skill in descriptive observation; skill in quantitative measurement and statistical analysis; computer literacy and comfort with several types of software; communication skill in both writing and public speaking; service to the community; and local sense of place.

Environmental Studies students are drawn out of the classroom to consider complex issues that require multi-track thinking - analysis from the natural sciences and solutions from the social sciences and humanities. Students are encouraged to find a site or a community, distant or close at hand, that they will seek to understand, communicate about, and possibly improve. Naturally enough, many students find research topics or sites in southwest Florida, a provocative mix of burgeoning sprawl and shrinking natural areas. In addition, the campus itself has become an object of recent study, as the focus of several classes and tutorials. For example, one recent student project turned expanse of lawn into educational gardens.

The most successful students are able to align their personal academic interests with the needs of some community, asking and answering questions that have real application. While most choose the Environmental Studies Area of Concentration, students can meet requirements in two areas for a double Area of Concentration such as Environmental Studies and psychology.

1. Introduction to ES

2. An Ecology course – e.g., Coral Reef Ecology, Ecology, or equivalent

3. A Chemistry course– e.g., Chemistry and the Environment, General Chemistry 1, or equivalent

4. Psychology (Social, Cognitive, or Environmental Psychology) (Intro Psych will be waived for ES students)

5. An environmentally-oriented Political Science or Economics course - e.g., Sustainable Development, Environmental Economics, or equivalent.

6. An environmentally-oriented Anthropology, History, or Urban Studies course – e.g., Urban Sociology, Ecological Anthropology, or equivalent

7. An environmentally-oriented Ethics, Literature, Music, or Religion course – e.g., Judaism and Ecology, Environmental Ethics, Violence and Environmentalism in American Literature and Film, Music and the Environment, or equivalent

8. ES Practicum: This can be either an ISP or course and involves teamwork with other students to complete a local environmental project.

9. A Capstone Seminar focusing on group discussion of core environmental readings and typically taken in the 4th year – e.g., Environmental Issues

In addition to the Environmental Studies Core, Environmental Studies Students are required to complete 5 additional courses or activities in one of five environmental studies tracks. The four tracks are: Environmental Anthropology; Environmental Science; Urban Studies and the Environment; Environmental Literature, Religion, and Philosophy; and Environmental Policy.

Finally, all Environmental Studies Area of Concentration Students are required to prepare of a research grant proposal approved by their senior thesis sponsor and Environmental Studies Steering Committee. They must satisfactorily complete a senior thesis or project related to the environment. And, they must satisfactorily complete a baccalaureate exam with a faculty member of the Environmental Studies Steering Committee serving as a member of the committee.

Representative senior theses:

  • Garbage and Government: Recycle Now, Sarasota County, and the Politicalization of Urban Waste
  • Managing Fisheries: a Case Study of Conceptual Frameworks for Policy Design
  • Sea Level Rise in Southwest Florida: An Economic Benefit-Cost Analysis of Policy Alternatives
  • Herbicide Resistant Crops: Can Genetic Engineering Contribute to Sustainable Agriculture?
  • Longleaf Pine: Florida's Sunflower Forest
  • An Ecological Assessment of the Caples Stormwater Detention Pond
  • Spiraling Toward Sustainability: Permaculture Design at New College

Gender Studies

Faculty throughout the College address issues related to Gender Studies in their courses, research and tutorials. For a complete list of faculty members affiliated with the Gender Studies Program, along with specific fields of interest, please click here.

Here at New College, students usually combine their work in Gender Studies with work in another established AOC, completing what is known at New College as a "joint disciplinary"  Area of Concentration. Students thus enhance their interdisciplinary work in Gender Studies with a solid grounding in a complementary AOC (such as biology, literature, or sociology).  In addition to the requirements  laid out by the GS Program (see the Gender Studies Worksheet [LINK] for details), students are responsible  for fulfilling the AOC requirements of their paired field/discipline  in consultation with appropriate faculty or the Program Advisor. Students wishing to pair their work in Gender Studies with a Divisional AOC (Humanities, Natural or Social Sciences) need to file the paperwork for a "Special Area of Concentration" (i.e., "Gender Studies in the Humanities") and to complete both the requirements for the GS AOC and all the requirements for the Divisional AOC.

The Course Schedule identifies cross-listed courses and dedicated (interdivisional) courses. Additional or specialized course work in Gender Studies may take the form of group Tutorials or Independent Research Projects. Internships and activist and service-learning opportunities are strongly encouraged.  Students interested in considering a Gender Studies Area of Concentration should download the Gender Studies Worksheet early in their academic career and use it to track their progress toward fulfilling the requirements in consultation with the Program Advisor.

The Joint-Disciplinary AOC in Gender Studies complies with the New College Academic Learning Compact, which ensures that graduates have demonstrated the requisite oral and written communication skills, appropriate content knowledge, and creative and critical thinking skills for the Bachelor of Arts degree. These skills are assessed in each academic and service-learning component. The senior thesis project and the baccalaureate examination are the final capstone requirement, demonstrating the student’s achievement of the required skills and abilities for the Gender Studies portion of the AOC.

Course of study:

To fulfill the following requirements, students may combine dedicated, cross-listed, or gender-oriented courses offered in established disciplines with Tutorials, Independent Research Projects, and Independent Study Projects. In addition to selecting cross-listed Gender Studies courses, students may arrange with the instructor to count an appropriate non-crosslisted course towards the Gender Studies AOC; this usually will require an agreement at the start of term to focus on gender issues in at least 1/3 of the course papers and assignments.

Students are strongly encouraged to seek out appropriate internships, activist projects, or service -learning opportunities during the semester, the January Independent Study Period. Faculty and Career Services can help students find local or national placements.  Students may also want to consider participating in one of the intensive off-campus semesters offered by various universities around the country, which combine Gender Studies-related internships with research opportunities in cities such as Washington, D.C. or Atlanta. We encourage students to pursue Gender Studies in an international context by studying a foreign language and/or by undertaking a semester of study abroad.

In what follows, a "course" is defined as an activity or pair of activities equivalent to a full term of work (i.e., a semester-long course., Tutorial, or IRP, or alternatively, a January term ISP, which consists of an intensive month-long single activity). Students need to complete at least:

·          two courses each in the Humanities  and in the Social Sciences with papers or projects focused on gender;

·          one course in the Natural Sciences with papers or projects focused on gender;

·          a course or tutorial on gender or feminist theory;

·          a senior project/thesis that raises gender-related issues but which may be sponsored by any member of the faculty (not only those listed above). The senior thesis will usually have a strong Gender Studies focus, and is often inter or cross-disciplinary in nature.

·          at least one of the projects must be cross-cultural or deal with gender as it intersects with race, ethnicity, and/or social class (i.e. intersectional).

It is RECOMMENDED that students complete:

·                      One broadly interdisciplinary project.

Although a specifically interdisciplinary course may not be offered regularly, an interdisciplinary undertaking could productively combine coursework in one field with course, tutorial, or Independent Study work on a related topic in another disciplinary field. For instance, coursework in Psychology on parenting practices and attitudes could be effectively combined with a tutorial in Philosophy on embodiment and maternity, OR in Literature on representations of motherhood and alternative families, OR in Biology on women’s health issues.

·                 A Methods course is highly recommended for serious students of Gender Studies, ideally surveying both qualitative  and quantitative methods. Regularly offered courses in the Social and Natural Sciences in methods may, at the discretion of the instructor, fulfill this recommendation.

When undertaking courses or projects not cross-listed under Gender Studies, students should be sure to ask faculty to indicate on their term evaluation that their work fulfills Gender Studies requirements. They may then list the course on their Gender Studies Worksheet.

Recent course offerings have included:

In Humanities:  Jewish Scriptures; Feminist Philosophy; Seminar: Modernism and Madness; Women and Seduction in 18th and Early 19th Century German Drama; An-"Other" Story: The Art of Women through the Ages; Debating Desire: Culture and Literature in the late Ming and Qing China; Embodiment; Sex in the Ancient World

In Natural Sciences:  General Biology in a Cultural Context; Current Issues in Human Genetics; Role of Women in Natural History; Health Disparities

In Social Sciences: Sociology of Gender; Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East; Contemporary Anthropology of Africa; Sustainable Development; Ancient North America; Queer Studies; American Perspectives; Method and Theory in Archaeology; Social Movements; Developmental Economics

Interdivisional:  Same, Equal, Different: Gender Studies in the U.S.; Anglo-American Feminist Theory

Sample senior thesis titles:

·          Traditional  Place and Feminist Space: The Japanese  Tea Ceremony Makes Room for Empowerment  (Anthropology/Gender Studies)
Promoted  Gender Roles in Heterosexual  Teenage  Dating: 1950s and 2000s (Social Sciences/Gender Studies)

·          "Where We've Been, Where We're Going": Feminist Voices in Anthropology  (Anthropology/Gender Studies)

·          "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Queerest of Them All?" A Crip Perspective on Fairy Tale Intertextuality” (Literature/Gender Studies)

·          Masculinity, Sexuality,  and Identity in Three Queer Texts, 1900-1910 (History/Gender Studies)

·          Gender Bias in Physiological  Stress Research (Biology/Gender Studies)

·          The Construction  and Enactment  of Queer and Jewish Identity (Sociology/Gender Studies)

·          Strange Fruits: An Academic Journal on Issues of Gender and Race (Special Area of Concentration)

·          “Representations of Women in the Work of Gustave Flaubert and Leo Tolstoy” (Literature/Gender Studies)

·          “Whose Development in 'Theatre for Development'?: Donors, Directors, and Local Participation in a South African Non-Governmental Organization” (Theatre/Gender Studies)

·          “The Fiction of Choice: Abortion Plots, Gender and Patriarchy in Four Twentieth-Century Texts” by Merode "Mem" Ward-Lichterman (English/Gender Studies)

·          She-Monsters  in Nineteenth  Century Novels (British and American Literature/Gender Studies)

·          "First Do No Harm": Intersexuality  and the Rise of the Medical Profession (Sociology/Gender Studies)

·          You Don’t Have to Be Straight to Shoot Straight: Military Formations  and the Impossibility  of Masculinity  (Special Area of Concentration)

·          The Shifting Margins of Whiteness and Otherness: Hispanic American Women and the Social Construction  of Race (Sociology/Gender Studies)

·          Relational Aggression  in Gay Male Relationships:  Examining  the Role of Internalized  Homophobia  (Psychology/Gender Studies)

International & Area Studies

Affiliated Faculty (Faculty that have offered courses related to International and Area Studies): Frank Alcock (Political Science), Anthony Andrews (Anthropology), Uzi Baram (Anthropology), Carrie Beneš (History), Erin Dean (Anthropology), Glenn Cuomo (German Language and Literature), David Harvey (History), Sarah Hernandez (Sociology), Barbara Hicks (Political Science), Tarron Khemraj (Economics), Sonia Labrador -Rodriguez (Spanish Language and Literature), Susan Marks (Religion), Thomas McCarthy (History), John Newman (Religion), José Alberto Portugal (Spanish Language and Literature), Amy B. Reid (French Language and Literature), Xia Shi (History), Wendy Sutherland (German Language and Literature), Jocelyn van Tuyl (French Language and Literature), Alina Wyman (Russian Language and Literature), Jing Zhang (Chinese Language and Culture), Aijun Zhu (Chinese Language and Culture)

In response to the unique challenges of global interdependence, the International and Area Studies (IAS) concentration  is designed to meet the need for a new generation trained to enter the international arena with a more comprehensive view of the international system and an in-depth understanding  of a major region or issue in world affairs.

The IAS area of concentration offers three tracks to meet a range of student interests and still provide solid training for future study or work in the area. The “area studies” track combines fundamental courses on the international political and economic systems with the student’s choice of specialization in a regional area; the “systemic track” focuses on a deeper understanding of the international political and economic systems; and the “issue” track is designed for students with a specific interest in a major international issue that affects more than one region, e.g. global health issues or peace and conflict.

In addition to these three tracks in the IAS AOC, we offer a separate AOC in European Studies. This AOC is designed for students with intensive interests in this region and less of a focus on the international system. Students are free to concentrate in other regional areas either under the IAS area studies track or as an individually designed major. International and Area Studies and European Studies are also very appropriate “slashes” for students combining them with disciplinary AOCs, so we offer a reduced set of requirements for those options.

The requirements listed below are the minimum expected; students are encouraged to take more classes and do ISPs and tutorials in areas that interest them. In exceptional cases, students may petition the International Studies Committee to substitute a different course for a requirement. (For example, a biology student doing fieldwork in Europe might count that experience toward the study abroad requirement or toward his or her “area course” requirements.) The student’s baccalaureate committee would also have to approve the substitution.

Requirements for a single Area of Concentration or double major

Note: For the AOC in International and Area Studies, students should complete one of the following three tracks. Students interested in an AOC in European Studies should complete the requirements listed under that heading.

Area Studies Track

1.       Completion of the 5th-semester  course (or equivalent) of a language appropriate to your area of specialization

2.       Intro to World Politics

3.       1 Comparative Politics course

4.       Intro to Economic Analysis or Intro Macroeconomics

5.       International  Economics or Development Economics

6.       At least 4 courses in your regional area of specialization,  including the following:
a)  1 non -language Humanities  course
b)  1 History course
c)  1 non -History Social Science course
d)  1 elective in any area

Systemic Track

1.       Completion of the 4th-semester course (or equivalent) of a foreign language

2.       Intro to World Politics

3.       1 Comparative Politics course

4.       Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective

5.       At least 3 of the following economics  courses:
a)  Intro to Economic Analysis
b)  Intro Macroeconomics
c)  International  Economics
d)  Development  Economics

6.       2 Modern History courses

7.       1 Environmental  Politics course covering international or cross-border  issues

8.       If possible, an ecology or science course dealing with a major global ecosystem (climate, oceans)

Issue Track

1.       Completion of the 4th-semester course (or equivalent) of a foreign language

2.       Intro to World Politics

3.       1 Comparative  Politics course

4.       Intro to Economic Analysis or Intro Macroeconomics

5.       International  Economics or Development  Economics

6.       At least 4 courses in your issue of specialization, e.g. global health. The following activities may count for this course requirement:
a)  Courses taught here (usually on an occasional basis)
b)  Courses taken at other institutions, if they meet NCF standards
c)  Courses taken abroad, if they meet NCF standards
d)  Up to 2 tutorials

European Studies

Faculty: Carrie Beneš (History), Glenn Cuomo (German Language and Literature), April Flakne (Philosophy), David Harvey (History), Barbara Hicks (Political Science), Thomas McCarthy (History), Amy Reid (French Language and Literature), Alina Wyman (Russian Language and Literature), Wendy Sutherland (German Language and Literature), Jocelyn van Tuyl (French Language and Literature), Miriam Wallace (English)

1.       Completion of a 6th semester course (or equivalent) of a major European language (culture/literature in the original).

2.       1 other European literature, art, music, culture, or philosophy course

3.       The 2-course core history sequence on Modern Europe

4.       1 Medieval or Renaissance course on Europe

5.       1 Politics course that addresses Europe

6.       1 Economics course that addresses Europe (e.g. International  Economics or European Economic History - these courses require an intro level econ course)

7.       2 electives in any field covering Europe

African Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies,  Middle Eastern Studies

Students wanting to complete an AOC in one of these areas are encouraged either to complete the International and Area Studies area track with a concentration in their regional area of choice or to design their own special combined majors with strong training in another discipline. They should consult with both their advisors and other International and Area Studies faculty in designing such special majors.

For All Students in the AOCs Listed Above

Every student should study abroad for a semester or summer. (A full semester is preferable.) In unusual circumstances, another significant multicultural experience may be substituted for this requirement upon approval of the International Studies Committee and the student’s own baccalaureate committee. Language courses taken abroad may be counted to your requirements if they lead to at least as much progress as we would expect in a semester here. You are also likely to be taking a few area courses, which can count toward your area course requirements if they are substantial. (Please bring home your syllabi and copies of your work for your committee to review.)

Students completing a double major should not count more than two classes toward both majors. The thesis or thesis project must be on an international or area studies topic.

At least two members of the affiliated faculty for your program must be on your baccalaureate committee.

Requirements for a combined Area of Concentration (“slash”)

Area Studies Track

1.       Completion of 3rd-semester course (or equivalent) of a foreign language

2.       Intro to World Politics or Comparative Politics course

3.       Introductory Microeconomics or Introductory Macroeconomics

4.       International  Economics or Development Economics

5.       3 courses in your regional area of specialization, including at least one History course.

*Students combining IAS with an AOC in Political Science, Economics, or History will have already met some of the requirements above and should take additional courses outside of their AOC as substitutes.

Systemic Track

1.       Intro to World Politics

2.       1 Comparative Politics course

3.       Intro to Economic Analysis or Intro Macroeconomics

4.       International Economics or Development Economics

5.       2 Modern History courses

*Students combining IAS with an AOC in Political Science, Economics, or History will have already met some of the requirements above and should take additional courses outside of their AOC as substitutes.

Issue Track

1.       Intro to World Politics

2.       1 Comparative Politics course

3.       Intro to Economic Analysis or Intro Macroeconomics

4.       International Economics or Development Economics

5.       3 courses in your issue of specialization.

*Students combining IAS with an AOC in Political Science or Economics will have already met some of the requirements above and should take additional courses outside of their AOC as substitutes.

European Studies

If the disciplinary concentration you are combining is not in a European language and literature

1.       Completion of the 3rd-semester course or equivalent of a major European language

2.       1 European Humanities elective outside of language

3.       The 2-course core history sequence  on Modern Europe
(History AOCs should replace this requirement  with 2 other electives,  1 of which is in Social Sciences)

4.       2 Social Science electives (outside of the other AOC you are combining) that address Europe or developed countries

If the disciplinary concentration you are combining is in a European language and literature

1.       1 European Humanities elective outside of your AOC

2.       The 2-course core history sequence on Modern Europe

3.     3 Social Science electives that address Europe or developed countries (2 of them must be outside History)

For All Students in the Combined AOCs Listed Above

Study abroad is highly recommended. Language courses taken abroad may be counted to your requirements if they lead to at least as much progress as we would expect in a semester here. You are also likely to be taking a few area courses, which can count toward your area course requirements if they are substantial. (Please bring home your syllabi and copies of your work for your committee to review.)

The thesis or thesis project should have some international or area studies content.

You must have at least one faculty member affiliated with your program on your baccalaureate committee.

Faculty in International & Area Studies

Alicia Mercado-Harvey (Visiting)
Gabrielle Vail (Visiting)


Medieval & Renaissance Studies

Affiliated Faculty (Faculty that have offered courses related to the study of Medieval and Renaissance Studies): Carrie Beneš (History); Magdalena E. Carrasco (Art History), Douglas C. Langston (Philosophy/Religion), Thomas McCarthy (History), Nova Myhill (English), David S. Rohrbacher (Classics); Jing Zhang (Chinese Language and Culture).

This interdisciplinary program is focused on the critical period in Western history between the end of antiquity and the birth of modernity (roughly, 400 to 1600 ce). The periods of the Middle Ages and Renaissance encompass vast and exciting transformations that saw the creation of many of the institutions and habits upon which our world and worldview rest. Study of the period will provide students with the valuable perspective on the contemporary scene that can only be acquired at a considerable distance.

In many cases, students will be best served by pursuing medieval and Renaissance interests in concentrations such as Literature or History. An interdisciplinary approach, however, recognizes that the modern division into academic disciplines does not adequately reflect premodern European culture, when theology might be argued in verse or in painting, and when history, literature, and religion were inextricably entwined.

An Area of Concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies normally includes the following:

Acceptance:  Students may apply to one of the above faculty members to discuss requirements and evaluate previous work dealing with the period. Applications should be made in the second year but no later than the beginning of the third year. Acceptance is based on the student's demonstrated aptitude for the field. Students wishing to include Medieval & Renaissance Studies as part of a ‘slash concentration’ are generally expected to fulfill all requirements for the concentration; exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Program: Students are encouraged to seek both a broad historical and cultural knowledge of the period as a whole and knowledge in depth of some important segments of it, by taking appropriate courses and tutorials. To ensure breadth, students must take at least one relevant class in each of the following areas: (1) art history/music, (2) history, (3) literature, (4) philosophy/religion. At least three classes or tutorials should be in one of the four areas, to provide the student with a disciplinary “base.” Students should also take at least two courses in related fields such as classical antiquity, early Judaism and Christianity, Byzantium, premodern China, or the seventeenth century. Students must take three semesters of a foreign language. Normally this will be Latin, but for some programs, at the sponsor’s discretion, another language might be substituted.  Finally, a senior thesis in some area of Medieval and Renaissance Studies is required.

Representative senior theses:

·          For the Love of the Gods: The Rhetoric and Reality of Religious Authority in Late Antiquity

·          Imagining Heaven and Earth: Cosmology and the Irish Tradition in the Saltair na Rann

·          Bohemond and the Byzantines: The Political Career of Bohemond of Taranto, 1096-1108

·          Romanization and Reform: Liturgy as a Mechanism of Change in Leon-Castile in the Eleventh and Early Twelfth Centuries

·          Norsemen without a King: An Analysis of Executive  Authority in the Icelandic Commonwealth

·          Reconsidering Humanism: The Life and Works of Poggio Bracciolini

Public Policy

(See also Political Science)

This Area of Concentration is of growing interest to students, since it offers insight into the decision-making process within government and business. The core of the program is economics and political science. The goal is to prepare a student to analyze technical reports, to understand the behavior of decision makers, and to appreciate the complexity of social issues. Many students have found the study of Public Policy a good preparation for law, business, government service, and other vocations that involve the large institutional structures of our society.

Typically, a student begins the program with introductory work in American government and in both macroeconomics and microeconomics. From there, most participants pursue political theory, bureaucracy, executive or legislative decision -making, and public finance. In addition, course work in the sociology of formal organizations, social ethics, statistics, mass media, modern history, and social psychology is suggested to support the emphasis on politics and economics.

Even before the introductory classes are complete, students may select issue areas on which to focus their research.  In the past, the issues selected have included local energy policy, coastal zone management, neighborhood governance, racial discrimination, arts policy, condominium development, bicycle pathways, utility pricing, the governance of small towns, legislative reform, legislative staffing, educational policy-making, and bureaucratic leadership. Internship opportunities expose students to the way decisions concerning these policies are made.

Public Policy students write senior theses that bring to bear their analytic skills on the policy issue of their choice. Often such reports are shared with policy makers, and they have proven to be useful in admission to graduate and professional schools. However, the purpose of the senior thesis in Public Policy, as well as the program as a whole, is not to train students to be experts in particular issue areas or methodologies. Rather, Public Policy majors gain wide exposure to a variety of ideas, values, and methods that may prove useful in their later lives. The direction of debate and discussion is more open than professional training allows. Public Policy here is not a technique, but another avenue to the liberal arts.

Faculty in Public Policy

Richard D. Coe
Keith A. Fitzgerald
Frederick  R. Strobel (Emeritus)


Currently it is not possible to graduate from New College with an Area of Concentration entirely in theater; the College has neither the faculty nor the facilities to support such a concentration.  However, due in part to the College's collaborative relationship  with the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory  of Actor Training, a highly selective graduate acting school located adjacent to the College campus in Sarasota, it is possible to include theater as a component  within a "joint disciplinary"  Area of Concentration:  (e.g.. Literature/Theater, Visual Arts/Theater, Anthropology/Theater, Psychology/Theater.)

A component in theater should be undertaken by students as part of their undergraduate liberal arts education. Theater of course lends itself to this context, having many conceptual and historical relations to other liberal arts disciplines. Although over the years a few New College students have gone on to graduate study or professional  employment  in theater, it should be understood  that theater study at the College is not pre-professional training; and students should be aware that making a career in theater remains extremely difficult.

Students planning to declare an Area of Concentration combining theater with another discipline should first consult with one of the faculty members listed above, and also with a faculty member in the other discipline, about requirements for such combinations.  A Provisional Area of Concentration form filled out in consultation with faculty from both disciplines, indicating any further work needed to complete the Area of Concentration for graduation, must be submitted no later than the semester of the student's fifth contract. The signature of one of the faculty members listed above must appear on the completed Provisional Area of Concentration form.

Note: the procedure above applies to combinations of theater with another discipline (e.g., literature, anthropology). Combining theater with a component of study covering an entire division, such as “Social Sciences/Theater," requires a different procedure - see the rules for "Special Programs" in the New College Faculty Handbook.

Requirements for the theater component:

By graduation, students need to have taken the equivalent of 8-10 courses in theater or about half the total courses for their entire, joint -disciplinary Area of Concentration.

Practical Study

Required Undertakings:

·          Introduction to Acting (Module course or group ISP, taught by FSU/Asolo  faculty

·          Advanced Acting (Module course or group ISP, taught by FSU/Asolo  faculty.)

·          Stagecraft Internship at the Asolo Conservatory (See a New College faculty member listed above to make arrangements; should be entered and evaluated as a semester or module Independent Reading Project on one of the student's New College contracts.)

·          Production  Involvement:

Normally after completing at least one of the required Asolo courses, students begin to take part in play production tutorials that have academic sponsorship from one of the faculty members listed above. The student's work in play productions should include not just acting, but also "behind the scenes" work (as stage manager, director, or in some other capacity).

Literary, Historical, and Theoretical Study

Students need to take New College courses or tutorials involving study of the following kinds: literary analysis of dramatic texts; study of theater's historical development and social context; study of diverse theoretical approaches to theater. A student may be able to study more than one of these kinds within a single course: for instance, a course on Spanish Drama of the Golden Age may involve both analysis of play texts and study of performance practices of the period; a course on Brecht may involve analysis of his play texts and of his theoretical ideas. But the student must have done all three kinds of study by graduation.  Interdisciplinary courses would be very appropriate here; thus, courses on Anthropology and Performance or on Aesthetics (Philosophy) of Performance would meet the requirement for theoretical work. A course or tutorial on playwriting might help meet the requirements for literary study, but should not be the only work in literary study the student undertakes.

The senior project may or may not involve theater.

Faculty in Theater

Maribeth Clark (Music)
Glenn R. Cuomo (German Language & Literature)
Aron Z. Edidin (Philosophy)
Andrei Malaev-Babel  (Theater, Adjunct)
Nova Myhill (English)
Amy B. Reid (French Language & Literature)
Jocelyn C. Van Tuyl (French Language & Literature)
Maria D. Vesperi (Anthropology)

Urban Studies

Affiliated Faculty (Faculty that have offered courses related to Urban Studies): Anthony P. Andrews (Anthropology), David Brain (Sociology),  Maria D. Vesperi (Anthropology).

The various academic disciplines define the city in differing ways, but they agree on one thing: the city is a revolutionary human achievement.  At New College, the flexibility of the academic contract encourages students to use tools provided by several disciplines to understand cities and the role they play in the development and functioning of civilization.

The New College curriculum does not include a core of regular course offerings on Urban Studies. While courses on urbanism are occasionally offered in some disciplines, majors in this area may pursue their interests through tutorials with the above-listed faculty.

Students become interested in Urban Studies through introductions in any number of fields – anthropology, economics, history, art and architecture – or through their participation in urban projects in Sarasota and other cities. Faculty offer a variety of perspectives  on urbanism, including the study of prehistoric and preindustrial cities, the history of urban architecture,  urban sociology, contemporary  urban cultures and ethnic groups in the United States, and urban politics. Students may also take advantage of internship opportunities in Sarasota – one of the nation's fastest-growing cities – and opportunities for off-campus study in the U.S. and abroad to develop their own senior thesis topics. Throughout students' preparation, this combination of a multi-disciplinary perspective and active involvement in urban affairs characterizes the Urban Studies concentration.

Students learn about cities throughout the world, as well as about a range of problems and solutions that shape modern cities. Whether planning recreational space for the Florida coast or dealing with the problems of the homeless in Sarasota, or examining the historic urbanization of Europe or Latin America, Urban Studies students learn from and contribute to the city as a vital part of modern human life.

Representative senior theses in Urban Studies:

·          The Homeless in Sarasota Housing: Policy and Practice

·          Historic Preservation in Sarasota

·          The City and Settlement

Faculty in Urban Studies

Anthony P. Andrews
David Brain
Maria D. Vesperi

Office of the Provost
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida  34243

Phone: (941) 487-4200
Fax: (941) 487-4201