Ethics and the Common Good Project (ECG) offers funding to support faculty in the development of courses that focus on conceptions and problems of ethics and the common good, as well as possible means of addressing or resolving those problems. Through these affiliated courses, ECG aims to connect Hampshire College’s five schools with our program’s mission and vision. Together, we cultivate an interdisciplinary curriculum that challenges us to bridge divides, realizing a good we hold in common.

We are particularly interested in courses that integrate community-engagement and community-based learning components in meaningful ways. This can include, but is not limited to, partnering with an on-campus program/project (i.e. the farm center, early childhood center) or an off campus community organization (i.e. pioneer valley worker center, amherst survival center), bringing off campus community partners to campus, and/or supporting students to develop on campus community engaged projects as part of the course.

All proposals will be considered.

Developing a New ECG Course

ECG is interested in supporting faculty in developing courses that focus on ethics and the common good broadly construed. We invite faculty to submit ideas for courses that focus on issues that explore or reflect on what we take to be of shared importance, value, or benefit, and which investigate possible means of response. ECG is eager to hear from any faculty member who wants to bring attention to or engagement with issues of ethics and the common good into their courses.

Grant Options

Creating a New Course for ECG: New course development grant awards include a $1000 faculty stipend and up to $1000 to support course related programming.

Augmenting a Pre-Existing Course for ECG: Individual faculty who plan to teach a course that explores ethical issues may propose ways of augmenting the course to incorporate common good themes. Augmented course grant awards include a $500 faculty stipend and up to $500 to support course related programming.

How To Apply

Any faculty on multi-year contracts or recurring one-year contracts, including but not limited to visiting and 10-year faculty, are encouraged to apply. Faculty should submit a proposal outlining ideas for either a new course or the modification of an existing one.

Applications must include:

  1. Project Description
    Address the following in two pages:

    • The intellectual focus of the course, when, and at what level it will be taught (100, 200, 300)
    • Relation to the mission, goals and values of the ECG project
    • A description of the methodologies, theories, and literature that will be introduced
    • The background and disciplinary focus each faculty member will bring to the course
    • Information on any guest speakers/lecturers who will be invited to participate (indicate if they already have been invited/have agreed to participate)
  2. Budget with Justification for Expenses
    Non-stipend expenses may not exceed $1,000 for new courses and $500 for augmented courses; allowable budget items include:

    • Expenses for guest speakers or community partners from outside the College (honoraria and travel costs)
    • Course materials
    • Field trip costs
  3. One Page Teaching Statement
  4. Sample Course Evaluations or Contact Information for a Teaching Reference

Review Process

ECG will review proposals according to the above guidelines. Preference will be given to those proposing courses that could be taught again in the future and courses that have meaningful community engagement and community based learning components. We will also make an effort to fund courses across disciplines and schools. If you have questions, or to discuss whether your course meets the ECG guidelines, please contact Javiera Benavente, ECG Program Director, at

Past Course Development and Augmentation Awards

Spring 2018

Alexis Salas | HACU
Race, Power, and Art in the Contemporary Americas

This new Spring 2019 course will explore the art practices of people of color from across the Americas to critically scrutinize the boundaries of “American” art by examining them in relation to critical race studies in order to reconsider the canon of art history.

Anne Hendrixson | CSI
Dimensions of Populationism

This new Spring 2019 course will examine three dimensions of populationism: demo-, geo- and bio in order to facilitate students’ in-depth consideration of contemporary ideologies, policies and politics that relate to the surveillance, management and (de)valuing of bodies and land.

Ashley Smith | CSI
Indigenous Environmental Activism

This new Fall 2018 course will consider how the histories of dispossession and settler colonialism inform indigenous approaches to environmental justice as students learn about indigenous philosophies and stories of the environment.

Ashley Smith | CSI
Service Learning on the Sandy River, Maine

This new Spring 2018 service learning project will be a collaboration between indigenous and non-indigenous people to build more equitable and sustainable relationships and land-use practices. Students will assist Wabanaki women in the preparation of their three-sisters planting fields while learning about Wabanaki history in the area, traditional Wabanaki-land relations and planting practices, indigenous approaches to sustainability, and the importance of collaborations and alliance-building to combating the social inequalities created by colonialism.

Dasha Chapman | HACU
Haitian Dance Technique and Theory

This new Fall 2018 course will engage in the practice of Haitian dance, and support this embodied learning with study of Haitian artists, history and culture, including related topics in Haitian studies (the Haitian Revolution, Vodou religion, migration) and getting to know the landscape of iconic and contemporary Haitian dancers.

Megan Dobro | NS
HIV/AIDS: 35 Years Later

This augmented Spring 2019 course will study the life cycle of the HIV virus, methods of transmission, current tools for research, and social and political issues associated with the epidemic. This course will assess what is still unknown about its biology and why finding a cure or vaccine has proven so difficult after all this time.

Monique Roelefs | HACU
Blackness and the Aesthetic: Aliveness, Play, Satire, and the Ordinary

This new Spring 2019 course will examine conceptual frames and artistic strategies shaping the burgeoning field of Black Aesthetics, as influenced by everyday art and life. Students will explore the evolving notions of the aesthetic, the political, and blackness in current work, coming together into an international, two-day symposium on black aesthetics in late Spring.

kara lynch | HACU
Abundance: Making Art and Politics With and From a Land-base

This augmented Fall 2018 course will focus on installation and community-engaged art practices in conversation with diverse media and the local ecosystem. A hands-on, project-based course, it will explore the relationships built between artists, activists, agriculturalists, and communities building a sustainable past, present, and future.

Spring 2017

Billie Mandle (HACU) will be teaching “Community, Photography, Storytelling”, a course that connects photography students with Applewood Retirement Community residents to forge intergenerational connections and teach a practice of relational portraiture. This is an augmented course that will be offered in the Fall semester of 2017.

Chris Tinson (CSI) and Mei Ann Teo (IA) will be collaborating to create the Spring 2018 course “For Whom It Stands: Symbolism in American Culture”, this class dives into theater and history in an investigation of the US flag, performance, and symbolism.

Djola Branner (IA) will be teaching “Performing Gender in American Theater”, a course that aims to expand the canon and the conversation by creating space to celebrate gender non-conforming characters in original drama. This course will be offered in the Spring semester of 2018.

Jana Silver (IA), Natalie Sowell (IA), and Deb Goffe (HACU) will be co-teaching “Innovations for Change: Creative Interventions”, an art education, visual arts, dance, and theater collaboration course that will investigate interdisciplinary arts as vehicle for social change. This course will be offered in the Spring semester of 2018.

Laura Greenfield (CSI) will be teaching “Radical Listening”, a communication studies course that asks what it means to listen radically and to use listening to activate and transform the social field. This course will be offered in the Fall semester of 2018.

Megan Dobro (NS) will be teaching “Plasmodium Symposium/Modeling & Microscopes” a course that uses local slime mold to model global economic and political challenges, connected to philosophy and in partnership with the Library Gallery. This is an augmented course that will be offered in the Fall semester of 2017.

Rachel Conrad (CSI) will be teaching “Children’s Rights”, a tutorial investigating the rights of children through the lens of childhood studies, culminating in a collaborative book making project with children at the Early Learning Center. This is an augmented course for entering first-year students that will be offered in the Fall semester of 2017.

Jana Silver (IA), Sarah Partan (CS), and Seeta Sistla (NS) will be co-teaching the course “Innovations for Change: Innovating for the Future”. This course connects students with thinkers and scholars exploring the challenge of climate change, and invites them to bring sustainable practices into their own lives. This is an augmented course that will be offered in the Fall semester of 2017.

Sarah Rafferty (HACU) will be teaching “Ethics in Art Making”, a course that examines the ethical responsibility of the artist beyond “self-expression” and “craftsmanship”. Students will explore ethical considerations involved in making art, living life as an artist, and displaying and viewing art.

Tim Zimmerman (CS) will be teaching “Environmental Education: Foundation and Inquiries”, this course is a critical inquiry into the field and practices of environmental education, and will be expanded to include materials examining nature as a commons. This is an augmented course that will be offered in the Fall semester of 2017.

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