Martina Kolb - Associate Professor of German Studies, Winifred and Gustave Weber Professor in the Humanities, and Associate Director of the Honors Program at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania
Her presentation features their Honors Sophomore Colloquium as a unique venue to teach interdisciplinarity and internationalism to an extent not normally offered in traditional courses. Sharing samples from students’ final portfolios, it concentrates on the course’s unique learning framework that fosters critical and creative thinking while following a sequence of ten thematically interrelated events (lectures, films, trips etc.) per academic year—on one overarching subject (such as alcohol or blood).
The Sophomore Colloquium relies on the truest senses of the words, with the sophomore as an “arguer” and the colloquium as a venue to “speak together.” It teaches Honors students how to commit themselves to an ongoing interactive discussion in which they learn to establish an integrative interdisciplinary and international framework that carries beyond the sophomore year into their subsequent academic and professional endeavors. With its pronounced interest in a relocation of perspectives across media, genres, and disciplines, the Colloquium accords well with Kenneth White’s emphasis on colloquere as well as collocare when defining a colloquium not only as a “speaking together” but also as a “bringing places, loci, topoi together.”
Honors Colloquium: Interdisciplinarity and Internationalism
Martina Kolb holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University and is Associate Professor of German Studies, Winifred and Gustave Weber Professor in the Humanities, and Associate Director of the Honors Program at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, where she curates the Sophomore Colloquium in Honors. She is the recipient of many competitive awards, including a Miller Fellowship in Exile Studies at the University of London and Academic Fellowships with the American Psychoanalytic Association in New York and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. She specializes in European art and literature of the long twentieth century, has taught internationally across the humanities, and has researched and published widely at the interdisciplinary intersections of poetics, aesthetics, the medical humanities, translation, and world literature — currently with a focus on the study of pain. Published in 2013 by the University of Toronto Press, her monograph Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria comes highly recommended by reviewers.