Welcome to Clark University Hybrid Splash

Our next Splash will be November 13, 2022!


ESP Biography



BENJAMIN BERMAN, ESP Teacher




Major: History

College/Employer: Clark

Year of Graduation: 2016

Picture of Benjamin Berman

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Not Available.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H622: The Talons of the Eagle: The Dark Side of American Foreign Policy in Splash Spring 2016 (Apr. 10, 2016)
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”—James Baldwin. Very often, the "terrible" chapters of history are brushed over; this class engages in the depressing but important task of discussing those terrible chapters. We will briefly review several controversial events and actions of the American government in the global arena, from the early conquest of Mexican territory in 1848 to the Iraq War in 2003 before discussing and debating several questions relating to these topics. Is the present state of the union more or less dark than past eras? Is the United States indeed the "land of the free and the home of the brave?" How can we address the country's past atrocities and crimes? And most importantly, how do we identify and bring an end to any that are being committed right now? Warning: some disturbing photographs of war and violence will be viewed.


H658: Something's Happening Here: Social Issues and Politics in American Music (middle school) in Splash Spring 2016 (Apr. 10, 2016)
Is there a place for politics in music, or in any art at all? How have major issues throughout American history been represented in music? Has such music had any actual impact on how people view those issues? We will discuss these questions and more by looking at key examples from folk, rock, hip hop, and other genres and subgenres!


H659: Something's Happening Here: Social Issues and Politics in American Music (high school) in Splash Spring 2016 (Apr. 10, 2016)
Is there a place for politics in music, or in any art at all? How have major issues throughout American history been represented in music? Has such music had any actual impact on how people view those issues? We will discuss these questions and more by looking at key examples from folk, rock, hip hop, and other genres and subgenres!


H475: A Shining City Upon a Hill: the Dark Side of American Domestic Policy in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 25, 2015)
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”-James Baldwin. This class will focus on the "terrible" parts of American history. We will briefly review several controversial events and actions of the American government on US soil, from slavery to civil liberties in the age of the War on Terror, and will then discuss and debate with each other several questions relating to these topics. Some think that though our government has done wrong things in the past, we no longer engage such cruel behavior. Others think that America's past is innocent and wonderful, but that today, our policies are more cruel than they have been in the past. Can we still call ourselves the "land of the free and home of the brave?" What can we do to make up for America's past cruelties? And most importantly, how do we bring an end to those being committed right now? Warning: some disturbing photographs of war and violence will be seen.


X476: Oiligarchy: Drill, Baby, Drill! in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 25, 2015)
Have you ever wanted to destroy the environment, aggrandize your own industrial empire, corrupt governments, and exploit other nations? Well now you can through the online simulation game "Oiligarchy"! We will have a discussion after playing the game in which we will try to better understand the complexity (or simplicity?) of oil politics, coming to our own conclusions and voicing our own opinions. Do not be afraid to take this class even if you know nothing at all about oil and politics--we all have a little tycoon in us! Don't try to understand it, just use it while we have it. You can go through the tutorial and play around with the game at this link, though we will go over the tutorial again at the beginning of the class: http://www.molleindustria.org/en/oiligarchy/


A375: Experimental and Avant-Garde Music in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 16, 2014)
Is silence music? Is dropping random objects on the ground music? "What is music" is a very broad question that humans have pondered probably since the beginning of civilization. In this class, we will grapple with more specific questions of experimental music. We will listen to (and more importantly, watch) pieces of experimental music, especially the works of John Cage, and discuss whether or not much of that sound really is "music" or mucus. Don't be afraid to get angry, as your preconceived notions about what qualifies as music will probably be put on trial as they have never been before. Feel free to bring random objects to the class that make interesting sounds, such as paper cups, rubber ducks, remote-control cars, and live polar bears, because if the spirit moves us, we may have the opportunity to compose our own experimental music!


H249: A Shining City Upon a Hill: the Dark Side of American Domestic Policy in Splash Spring 2014 (Apr. 13, 2014)
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”-James Baldwin. This class will focus on the "terrible" parts of American history. We will briefly review several controversial events and actions of the American government on US soil, from slavery to civil liberties in the age of the War on Terror, and will then discuss and debate with each other several questions relating to these topics. Some think that though our government has done wrong things in the past, we no longer engage such cruel behavior. Others think that America's past is innocent and wonderful, but that today, our policies are more cruel than they have been in the past. Can we still call ourselves the "land of the free and home of the brave?" What can we do to make up for America's past cruelties? And most importantly, how do we bring an end to those being committed right now? Warning: some disturbing photographs of war and violence will be seen.


H250: The Talons of the Eagle: the Dark Side of American Foreign Policy in Splash Spring 2014 (Apr. 13, 2014)
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”-James Baldwin. This class will focus on the "terrible" parts of American history. We will briefly review several controversial events and actions of the American government in the foreign arena, from the early imperialist takeover of Hawaii to the Iraq War, and will then discuss and debate with each other several questions relating to these topics. Some think that though our government has done wrong things in the past, we no longer engage such cruel behavior. Others think that America's past is innocent and wonderful, but that today, our policies are more cruel than they have been in the past. Can we still call ourselves the "land of the free and home of the brave?" What can we do to make up for America's past cruelties? And most importantly, how do we bring an end to those being committed right now? Warning: some disturbing photographs of war and violence will be seen.


X169: The Dark Side of American History in Splash Fall 2013 (Nov. 16, 2013)
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”-James Baldwin. This class will focus on the "terrible" parts of American history. Some think that though our government has done bad things in the past, such as allow slavery, we no longer endorse such cruel behavior. Others think that America's past is innocent and wonderful, but that today, we are worse than we've ever been before because we support and trade with foreign oppressive governments. This class will highlight some of America's more infamous atrocities, such as slavery, as well some more ignored atrocities, such as the confinement of over 100,000 Japanese residents and citizens to "internment camps" during World War II. How can we do such terrible things, yet still call ourselves the "land of the free and home of the brave?" What can we do to make up for America's past cruelties? And most importantly, how do we bring an end to those being committed right now?


X203: College Crash Course in Splash Fall 2013 (Nov. 16, 2013)
Whether it be at Clark or somewhere else, you will major in something you're passionate about, and then hopefully land a dream job. But if you're prepared, it doesn't have to be scary! Explore different academic opportunities and career paths that interest you through interactive activities, discussions, games, and roleplaying!


X110: The Dark Side of American History in Splash Spring 2013 (Apr. 20, 2013)
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”-James Baldwin. This class will focus on the "terrible" parts of American history. Some think that though our government has done bad things in the past, such as allow slavery, we no longer endorse such cruel behavior. Others think that America's past is innocent and wonderful, but that today, we are worse than we've ever been before because we support and trade with foreign oppressive governments. This class will highlight some of America's more infamous atrocities, such as slavery, as well some more ignored atrocities, such as the confinement of over 100,000 Japanese residents and citizens to "internment camps" during World War II. How can we do such terrible things, yet still call ourselves the "land of the free and home of the brave?" What can we do to make up for America's past cruelties? And most importantly, how do we bring an end to those being committed right now?