Late in the summer of 2021, an email appeared in Anushka Sen’s inbox. “Feeling Resilient?” the subject line read. A graduate student in the Department of English, Sen was preparing to teach a seminar entitled “Metamorphosis: Art and Politics” at the Collins Living-Learning Center. The Collins seminar was listed additionally as an offering in support of Themester, a program linking teaching and events on campus and run by the College of Arts and Sciences since 2009. The email in Sen’s inbox had come from Julia Bentley, an Associate Professor of Voice in the Jacobs School of Music who was to teach an advanced graduate course in Song Literature. Their correspondence sparked an original collaboration between the classes that was a first for the Collins Living-Learning Center. Together, Bentley and Sen organized a performance based on metamorphosis stories.
On the evening of Wednesday, November 17, just before the Thanksgiving break, members of the two classes came together to present Modern Metamorphs as a part of the Resilience Themester. The graduate voice students sung musical pieces and the undergraduate literature students read poetry based on the myths that were performed in song. The evening ended with a brief screening from Song of the Sea, a movie steeped in Celtic mythology that had been taught in Sen’s Collins course. An attentive audience listened appreciatively and thoughtfully that evening. The occasion was a welcome reminder of the magic that can come from collaboration on campus. Director Lara Kriegel remembered the event as a moment when she felt relief and gratitude for being back on campus with students and colleagues after a year of teaching and working on Zoom. The event was a wonderful enactment of Collins’s commitments to Self-Government, Sustainability, and the Arts. We hope to witness similar collaborations in the future.