Independent Study


List of Independent Studies by School

These are independent studies that have been put up by students; they are merely a small sample of the total independent studies occurring at any point in Hampshire College.


  • Spring 2008: Jay Cassano undertook an in-depth study of Virgil’s Aeneid with Ralph Hexter.
  • Spring 2007: David Axel Kurtz read ancient epics in verse and prose under Ralph Hexter
  • Fall 2008: David Axel Kurtz compared the politicking of the English Civil War to the bickering of the Demons of Hell in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, supervised by Brown Kennedy
  • Fall 2008: David Axel Kurtz prepared a course & lecture series concerning the Jewish response to the Holocaust, focusing on examples of militancy and resistance, supervised by Rachel Rubinstein
  • Fall 2008: David Axel Kurtz studied the operation of nonprofit corporations & did a bit of freelance grantwriting, supervised by Brown Kennedy
  • January 2009: several students chose to use the Norse Mythology EPEC course taught by Daniel Cottle and Andrew Berquist as an Independent Study supervised by Bob Meagher
    • David Axel Kurtz followed Daniel Cottle and Andrew Berquist to 12th-century Iceland to get his Ragnarok on
    • Claire Oberholtzer studied the Norns and wrote a paper detailing their role in the Norse cosmology
  • January 2009: David Axel Kurtz wrote a novella, being an homage to Joris-Karl Huysmans’ refined thebaid A Rebours, supervised by Polina Barskova and Bob Meagher


  • Fall 2005: Theresa Anderson completed a mentored independent study in which she read short stories in Spanish by Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and wrote reflections on the works in Spanish.
  • Fall 2008: Exploring Social Entrepreneurship Application at Hampshire College group independent study.
  • Fall 2008: David Axel Kurtz wrote a series of essays for Will Ryan, edited them to death, and then earned them the dubious honor of being published in The Omen, supervised by Will Ryan
  • Fall 2012: Bexx Merck, Jonah Taylor, Ava Samuel, Sophie Schultz-Allen, Colin Eldridge and Jessa Orluk are members of the Transition Hampshire Mod, supervised by Colin Twitchell and Roxy Finn


  • Fall 2008: Noah Kellerman, Malaika Mara Spencer, Graham Jeffries, Tobin Porter-Brown, Ella Field, Laura Childers-Mansfield and Justin Mest are studying local food systems through a Local Foods Challenge Independent Study.
  • Spring 2008: Kelly Wehrle studied Mathematics in Fiction with Ken Hoffman.
  • Jan Term 2008: Trevor LeBlanc studied Calculus III with Ken Hoffman
  • Fall 2007: Britton Forsyth Van Vleek took an Independent Study in LA-ICP-MS Applications to Forensic Anthropology
  • Fall 2007: Kristian Brevik took an Independent Study in Vertebrate Skeletal Systems with Cindy Gill
  • January 2009: David Axel Kurtz reviewed the J-Term course he had taught without supervision, gaining great insight into his work from Lynn Miller
  • Summer 2009-Spring 2010: Claire Oberholtzer did a Survey Data Entry and Analysis Independent Study in collaboration with Carol Trosset and Oregon Council for the Humanities


  • Spring 2010: Narrative Theory Independent Study under several professors was undertaken by Claire Oberholtzer and Katie Culpepper
  • Fall 2008: Digitizing Hampshire group independent study/EPEC course facilitated by Ananda Valenzuela, Adam Krellenstein, Niko Kern, and Jose Fuentes .
  • Spring 2008: Ellen Schubert worked with Amy Jordan to write a paper that used the history of the Girl Scouts as a case study for how non-profits serving youth have changed over time in response to cultural anxieties about youth.
  • Fall 2006: Samantha Kimball, Madeline Baker, Lauren Bentley, William Brideau and Evan Hatten continued The No Child Left Behind Project with SS-0200 Independent Study – Continued Studies on No Child Left Behind.
  • Spring 2007: David Axel Kurtz reviewed the primary corpus of writings by Adam Smith, producing a 120-page dissertation that nearly killed Omar Dahi
  • Spring 2009: David Axel Kurtz is studying the diversity and internal divisions of the People’s Republic of China, supervised by Kay Johnson
  • Spring 2009: Julia Partington and Grace Ann Gould worked with the Prison Birth Project to create a guide to pregnancy and birth for incarcerated women.


  • Spring 2012: Allxie Cleary, Breton Handy and Keenan Villani-Holland developed and implemented Swapshire under the guidance of Paul Dickson.
  • January 2012: David Nishball, Rob Sandell, Breton Handy and Christian Hall created Revolting Vegetable with Paul Dickson.
  • Spring 2009: Dylan Holmes and Chris Semple are working on Narrative in Video Games with Chris Perry.
  • Fall 2007: Julia Partington completed a mentored independent study on the radical educational potential of the internet.


  • Fall 2007: David Axel Kurtz dissected the political philosophies of Mohatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with an eye towards the success thereof in their given time and place, supervised by PAWSSprofessor Michael Klare
  • Fall 2009: Julia Partington worked with Smith College’s director of health services on an independent study on women’s health.

See also

  • Independent Work
  • Guidelines for an Independent Study
  • The Guerrilla Guide