Spring 2019

Pure Imagination
ENGL 1102 AA (900-950 MWF)
Mr. Adam Diehl

The title of this course comes from a song in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This semester, we will be analyzing and discussing literature, music, film, art, and fashions that feature various forms of imagination. What is imagination? How do we quantify and understand imagination? What can we learn about accessing, controlling, and channeling our own imaginations? We will consider the words and sounds and images of the aforementioned media. Then, we will write discussion posts and process essays, including research paper about topics pertaining to imagination in the modern age.

O Captain! My Captain!: Leadership in Literature, Music and Film
ENGL 1102 EE (1000-1050 MWF)
Mr. Adam Diehl

"What Becomes of the Broken-hearted?": Depression in Literature
ENGL 1102 LL (0830-0945 TR)
Mr. Adam Diehl

The title of this course comes from Jimmy Ruffin’s song, where he sings:
 What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind.

This semester, we will be analyzing and discussing music, film, art, and literature that depicts the broken-hearted. What breaks their hearts? How do they respond to these heartbreaks? How can we learn what to do and what not to do in the face of depression? We will consider the words and sounds and images of T.S. Eliot, William Styron, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Amy Winehouse, Wes Anderson, and the book of Ecclesiastes. Then, we will write process essays, including a research paper, about topics that these works raise.

The American Dream
ENGL 1102 N (1000-1115 TR)
Mr. Adam Diehl

This semester, we will be analyzing and discussing music, film, art, and literature that feature various elements of The American Dream. What constitutes The American Dream? How do we measure its achievement - for ourselves and for others? What can we learn about pursuing or forgoing The American Dream based on these works? We will consider the words and sounds of the aforementioned selections. Then, we will write reading responses, discussion posts, and process essays (including a LIBRARY RESEARCH PAPER) about topics pertaining to an aspect of The American Dream.

The Alien Other
ENGL
1102GG (830-945 TR); ENGL 1102R (1130-1245 TR)
Dr. Todd Hoffman

This course will consider in very broad ways how we react to things that are alien, or what we might call the Other. The Other is that which doesn't conform to our expectations, to what is "normal" and appropriate, to what is natural or to what is good. In other words, we often use the Other as a dark mirror, to project the things that drive our fear outward and to then alienate that thing-- make it an alien and something that doesn't belong. We will begin our course with considering the monstrous other, literally the creature that most provokes our fear and repulsion by considering the movie Alien. But then we will explore notions of the alien Other in a variety of different contexts: the alien within me-- that dark part of my personality that perhaps lurks within me and seeks to escape (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde); the illegal alien and how we scapegoat others into the Other (El Norte), some category of person that is a defiler of social harmony and the racism that often accords with such attitudes (The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass); and we will consider the benevolent Other, the alien who offers hope and peace but whose status as alien makes us suspicious of such graciousness (Childhood's End). The course will read short works of literature, watch movies and a couple of TV episodes (Star Trek and The Twilight Zone) and utilize these to organize your writing assignments and your research paper. 

The Underdog: Tribulations and Triumph
ENGL1102E (10-1050 MWF); 1102G (11-1150-MWF)

Dr. Lee Anna Maynard

Our culture's fascination with underdogs isn't unique to our time or place. We will journey from distant eras and foreign shores to modern America to explore how and why we identify with the little guy. We will investigate what separates a victor from a victim and what conditions and limitations underdogs must struggle against. You will read sociological and psychological analyses of the underdog and get to know famous (for good reason!) literary underdogs. Finally, you will examine the underdog phenomenon in sports/entertainment and consider what it may reflect about us.

"You've Got a Friend in Me" or Do You?
ENGL 1102W (530-645 MW)
Dr. Melissa Johnson

This online class will investigate true and false friendships through the readings of Hamlet, The Three Musketeers, and poetry of Frost, Blake, and others. The class will also view film and television portrayals of friendships as they appear in the movie Toy Story and television shows Friends, Happy Days, and How I Met Your Mother. Also included will be the music of Kanye West, Garth Brooks, Randy Newman, and James Taylor. Students will investigate the importance of friends, the various dynamics of friends, and the positive and negative psychological impact of friendship. 

Afrofuturism and Culture
Dr. Seretha Williams

The popularity of the Marvel film Black Panther and Janelle Monae’s album Dirty Computer have reinvigorated interest in Afrofuturism, or black speculative fiction. In this course, we will trace the evolution and expression of Afrofuturism over time and across mediums. Texts for the course will include film, music, fashion, visual art, dance, and literature. Students will build an Afrofuturism-inspired archive and produce a research paper on the topic of Afrofuturism.

The Exploration of Cultural/Societal Fears
Mr. Dylan Smeak

College Composition II is a writing based course where students refine their writing skills through themed courses with in-depth source material around a particular topic. Students read and write in a variety of genres surrounding the theme of the course, and they compose a major academic research paper with independent research. The texts, stories, articles, and movies we read/watch this semester will focus on Cultural and Societal Fears. Through a combination of the numerous learning outcomes, we will endeavor to answer such questions as: In what ways do societal norms reflect societal fears? Are fears learned or instinctual? etc. As we attempt to answer these and other questions, we will be paying extremely close attention to argument formation, concrete and abstract language and ideas, and the absolute necessity of proper evidentiary support. 

Ideas that Changed the World: Satyagraha, Gandhi, and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement
Dr. Christina Heckman

 In this course, students will examine the influence of Satyagraha, Mahatma Gandhi's methodology of nonviolent resistance, on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. To assess this influence, student researchers will formulate research questions, conduct online and library research, and communicate their findings in both oral and written forms. Readings will include selected writings and speeches by Gandhi; selections from Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns; selections from Melissa Fay Greene's Praying for Sheetrock; Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; and John Lewis's March.

Laugh Out Loud: The Complexities of Humor
Ms. Karin Gillespie

Everyone loves a good laugh, but what makes something funny? What are the many types of humor? What role does humor play when it comes to gender and politics? How does it vary across cultures? What is the dark side of humor and how does it expose some of our worst tendencies? We will be considering the works of Mark Twain, David Sedaris, Anne Lamott, Woody Allen and many more.

The Rhetoric of Political and Cultural Discourse
Mr. Paul Sladky

We will analyze how reality is portrayed and "truth" rhetorically constructed in cultural discourse, with a particular focus on political speech. This will include examining methods that artists, political speakers, public institutions, propagandists, and others use to construct different and competing versions of human experience. In addition, students will pursue topics of their own interest. 

The American Dream
Mr. Adam Diehl

This semester, we will be analyzing and discussing music, film, art, and literature that feature various elements of The American Dream. What constitutes The American Dream? How do we measure its achievement—for ourselves and for others? What can we learn about pursuing or forgoing The American Dream based on these works? We will consider the words and sounds and images of the aforementioned selections. Then, we will write reading responses, discussion posts, and process essays (including a LIBRARY RESEARCH PAPER) about topics pertaining to an aspect of The American Dream.

Proper Ladies and Manly Men: Redefining Gender Norms
Dr. Michele Kelliher

This course will focus on changing concepts of propriety.  We will begin by surveying some of the historical, philosophical, and religious underpinnings of many of our inherited concepts of proper behavior for men and women as well as the gradual evolution of well-defined gender norms.  After examining briefly how many of our ideas of proper behavior and social convention, of masculinity and femininity, were intertwined early on with our understandings of morality and virtue, we will then examine some of the conventions of proper behavior as evidenced in eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century conduct books, in popular journals, and in works of fiction.  Additionally, we will consider the consequences historically of non-conformity, of impropriety, of thwarting social convention.  Turning our attention to the twenty-first century, we will consider how our traditionally prescribed rubrics of femininity and masculinity govern our attitudes toward marriage and family life and often dictate educational opportunities, work place choices, and social discourse and interaction.  Writing assignments will include expository and reader response essays and a major research paper.