Fall Course Openings: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, Decolonizing Indigenous Middletown, Money and Social Change, and Collaborative Cluster

wesmaps_buttonThere are many great opportunities to engage in public life and service through your academics at Wesleyan. Here are a few courses that still have openings available for this fall, including the Collaborative Cluster, service-learning classes, and a quarter-credit class taught by Patricelli Center director Makaela Kingsley.

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (.25-credit, second quarter)

CSPL 262, Makaela Kingsley

This is an intro-level crash course in social entrepreneurship. We’ll start by defining social entrepreneurship, then we’ll explore the tactics and tendencies of successful social entrepreneurs. We will partially incubate a real social enterprise, so we can “learn by doing.” Each session will be a combination of lecture, group work/discussion, and in-class presentations.

This course will be useful for students who want to think critically about how social change happens, launch their own projects or ventures, innovate solutions to social and environmental problems, hone their activism, and/or build practical skills. Although it is introductory level, it will be useful for students already involved with social impact organizations or entrepreneurial enterprises.

Decolonizing Indigenous Middletown: Native Histories of the Wangunk Indian People

AMST 250, Kauanui,J. Kehaulani    

Students will be introduced to the new field of settler colonial studies, the rapidly transforming field of critical indigenous studies, along with Native American history and historiography addressing southern New England. Taking up a decolonizing methodological approach, the class will focus on the sparsely documented history of the Wangunk Indian Tribe, the indigenous people of the place we call “Middletown,” also known as Mattabesett. The Wangunk people, part of the Algonquin cultural group, historically presided over both sides of the Connecticut River in present-day Middletown and Portland, while their traditional territory reached as far north as Wethersfield and Chatham. Although regarded as “extinct” by settlers in the aftermath of King Philip’s War, 1675-78, the Wangunk continue to live into the 21st century. This is a service-learning course that engages the Wangunk Tribe and the Middlesex Historical Society while enabling students to make connections between community-based work, archival research, oral historical work, and select academic studies.

Money and Social Change 

CSPL 210, Joy Anderson

How do people make decisions about using their money for social change? Where will it have the most impact? When do shifts in the rules or the use of capital create systemic change and address structural inequities? This course will explore the role of capital in social change. If we rethink how social change happens–analyzing the nonprofit and public sectors, but also new sector-blending approaches and concepts like collective impact–how does our perspective on capital shift? As a part of this unique course, students will work through an active process of selecting a set of nonprofits in and around Middletown to which, as a class, they will actually grant a total of $10,000.

fac_dance_2015-0827130920Collaborative Cluster: A Renaissance Project, Reclaiming Memory, Movement and Migration

Cluster courses in 2015-16 will provide perspectives from Dance, Music, English, and African American studies on the ways performance practices have engaged the past and present in the face of great migrations. Students, in collaboration with peers, faculty and visiting artist/scholars, will develop original research in writing, performance or visual art around the cluster theme. Students also will have the opportunity to work with cluster faculty in developing an evening length interdisciplinary performance. The piece, that has the working title Storied Places will be created collaboratively by the faculty and students will be engaged as researchers, performers, and partners in the creative process.

To Participate: Enroll in CSPL 320, the Collaborative Cluster Initiative Research Seminar— a two semester, half credit per semester research seminar—and one of the courses listed below (choose Section 02 to be included in the Cluster):

Enroll in : 

– Interdisciplinary Research Seminar: Migration, Memories, Movement

  CSPL 320, Nicole Stanton, Lois Brown, L’Merchie Frazier, Jay Hoggard, Fall 2015 & Spring 2016

AND 1 of the following:

– Repertory and Performance: Storied Places

  DANC 378A, Nicole Stanton, Fall 2015

– Sacred and Secular African American Musics

  MUSC 269, Jay Hoggard, Fall 2015

– Storied Places: Revival, Renewal, and African American Landscapes

  AFAM 314, Lois Brown, Spring 2016

– Visual Storytelling: Race, (In)visibility, and American Landscapes

  AFAM 306, L’Merchie Frazier, Spring 2016



Jennifer Roach is the Civic Engagement Fellow in Allbritton for the academic year 2015-2016. She is a recent Wesleyan alumni, class of 2014. Since graduating, she has moved to Hartford to continue developing Summer of Solutions Hartford, an urban farming internship program she worked on during her time at Wesleyan.