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Registration: Interim

Interim 2008


W10 Chicano Literature. This course is an introduction to Chicano literature, that subset of Latino literature of the U.S. springing from Mexican-American culture of the American Southwest. Students develop an understanding of the complex nature of Chicano identity, with its roots in both Spanish and Indian cultures, that involves both rich and beautiful tradition and a history of oppression in both directions: what Rudolfo “Corky” Gonzales describes as the irony of being both “tyrant and slave,” “despot” and “apostle of democracy” (“Yo Soy Joaquín”). By examining folk tales, novels, short stories, essays, poetry, and music, students learn of the richness of this subculture as well as the difficulty in negotiating a mestizo identity in the face of the increasingly dominant Anglo culture. Authors include R. Anaya, G. Anzaldúa, A. Islas, T. Rivera, H. Viramontes, S. Cisneros, and various poets and musicians. Evaluation is based on quizzes, a paper, and a group presentation. Optional CCE credit. L. Naranjo-Huebl. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

W11 C.S. Lewis’s Apologetics. A close examination of the five core works of Lewis’s apologetics—The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and The Pilgrim’s Regress. Since Lewis also dramatized his beliefs in fiction, we will read one novel, most likely That Hideous Strength or The Last Battle. The class will select the novel. This course requires substantial and close reading; therefore, it would be helpful to get much of the reading done before the course starts. Course responsibilities include reading quizzes, attendance, and group projects. J. Timmerman. 8:30 a.m. to noon.

W12 The Message of the Blues. This course presents a history of blues music in America, through both a study of the historical development of blues music and a study of the representation of and reflection upon blues music by major African-American authors, such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin. Theological reflection upon the blues, such as James Cones’ The Spirituals and the Blues, is used to frame the course, in order to question if the blues should be understood as a secularization of the spirituals. Students listen to a good deal of music in class and discuss short stories, poems, and essays defining the nature of the blues. Requirements include short response papers and a research essay. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the most original music produced in America and to grow in understanding the complex nature and purposes of the blues, as music and as a worldview. “Let us close with one final word about the blues: Their attraction lies in this, that they at once express the agony of life and the possibility of conquering it through sheer toughness of spirit” (Ralph Ellison, “Richard Wright’s Blues”). B. Ingraffia. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

CANCELED W40 A Literary Tour of England. Charles Dickens’ fictional description of revolutionary France (“it was the best of times; it was the worst of times”) applies equally well to Victorian Britain. Buoyed by technological advances and a sense of historical progress, many Victorians echoed Alfred Tennyson’s confidence when he “dipped into the future far as human eye could see, / Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.” Others felt overwhelmed by the chaos of change and industrialization, feeling as if they were “wandering between two worlds, one dead, / The other powerless to be born, / With nowhere yet to rest [their] heads.” Nineteenth-century literature abounds in such motifs of loss, whether experienced literally, as a geographical displacement from home or nature; historically, as a disconnection from the past; psychologically, as an alienation from self or community; or spiritually, as a longing for abandoned faith. This literary tour of England explores many sites that occasioned literary themes of loss or longing. Students visit the old cathedral town of Rochester, the moors of Haworth, the medieval town of York, the magnificent Lake District, and cosmopolitan world of London; read and discuss several novels and their film adaptations (Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Possession) as well as selections from nineteenth-century poetry. Class discussions focus on the interrelationships of place, historical context, and themes of progress and loss. The course is open to all students with an appetite for exploration, good reading, long walks, and good conversation. A reading journal and an oral presentation are required. This course may fulfill an elective requirement in the English major. Fee: $3,799. R. Anker, J. Netland. Off campus.

W41 Talking Pictures. What is the relationship between words and images? Renaissance emblem books paired symbolic images with explanatory verses to teach moral lessons. Other combinations of pictures and texts appear in literature such as concrete poetry and the work of e.e. cummings. This course explores ways in which words and images support one another, but also ways in which visual and textual elements complicate and subvert one another. Students investigate these relationships through a wide range of primary texts (e.g., illustrated manuscripts, graphic novels, emblem books, pattern poems), through readings in literary theory, and through collaborative production of an original illustrated text. This experiment in “indie publishing” will combine texts and pictures in many different media; e.g., physical collages; photoshopped composites; “hand drawn” images; digital cameras; etc. The final project will be published on The course is designed to give students familiarity with several visual texts, an understanding of postmodern theories of textuality, and practical experience in independent publishing. Because no one student excels in all of three of these areas, all manner of writers, artists, and designers are welcome, and no experience is necessary. Students are evaluated on participation in multiple aspects of the book project and short journal assignments. This course may fulfill an elective requirement in the English major and Writing minor. C. Engbers, J. Williams. 8:30 a.m. to noon.

W42 Finding God in the Movies. Although Hollywood and film generally are usually seen as bastions of gleeful secularism, the last several decades have produced an extraordinary body of film that is religiously acute and moving. The course will look at the sorts of religious statements these films make and how they go about making them, concentrating on the interrelation between these two. The course will begin by asking the question of what makes a film religious, and then move on to consider the drama of religious experience in the journey from darkness to light, from despair to hope, and from tragedy to comedy. We will also reflect on the nature of audience response and the legitimacy of oft-drawn distinctions between religious film and Christian film. As much as possible the course will follow a seminar format. Recent viewing of all films in the course is a requirement. Class sessions view films and discuss, including some time for professor lecture on filmmakers and meanings, though this is kept to minimum. Students will be responsible for viewing the films, reading analysis of written texts, including the instructor’s book on many of the films in the course, and discussion. Students will keep a daily log of reactions to films, write three analytic papers, and take a final exam on the substance of the course. The course is rather intensive, examining some fourteen films in as many sessions. It should also be noted that a number of the films in the course are R-rated and are very dark in their estimate of human life. The viewing list will include such films as The Godfather, The Deer Hunter, Tender Mercies, The Color of Paradise, L’Enfant, The Apostle, American Beauty, and Three Colors: Red. R. Anker. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

CANCELED W43 Shusaku Endo's Mudswamp Self. Is it possible to be both devoutly Christian and authentically Japanese? For much of his life, this question seemed to haunt the acclaimed Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo, who often referred to a tension between what he called his Catholic and Japanese selves, the latter of which he metaphorically called his “mudswamp” self. Personally distressing as these tensions were, they inspired some of his finest fiction, which explores the complex cultural, intellectual, and spiritual conflicts he experienced as a Japanese Christian. The focus of this course is on such themes of religious and cultural difference in Endo’s fiction. We will explore the ways in which the “Japanese character” was being defined by twentieth-century intellectuals and examine the tensions which Endo saw between his Japanese identity and his Christian beliefs. Course readings include Endo’s provocative biography of Jesus (The Life of Jesus) as well as novels like Wonderful Fool, Silence, and The Samurai. Students will present an oral report, write a paper, and produce a creative project. J. Netland. 8:30 a.m. to noon.

W46 The New England Saints. In the mid-nineteenth century, a group of New England writers created a body of literature dealing with religious, philosophical, and artistic questions that challenged conventional understandings of the world. This course deals with these Concord authors and their questions, grapping with the ways in which their writing and their lives challenge contemporary Christians. It studies Hawthorne and his reaction to the Puritan tradition, the Transcendentalists and their uneasy union of philosophy and literature, and the Romantics and their departure from Emerson’s world. After reading and discussing Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, Alcott, Longfellow, Whittier, Hawthorne, and Bradford, the group travels to Maine, and then to Concord for on-site discovery, examination, and discussion. The class remains in New England for 2 ½ weeks, studying in Concord, Salem, Cape Cod, Plymouth, Lowell, Boston, Lexington, and Amherst. Students are evaluated on presentations, discussions, and journals. This course may fulfill an elective requirement in the English and Language Arts majors. Fee: $1,960. N. Hull, G. Schmidt. Off campus.

262 Business Writing. This course introduces students to the kinds of written communication and oral presentations that are required in business-related fields. Students collect examples of and practice composing the types of professional communication that they are likely to craft on the job. The class is conducted as a workshop; students consult with each other and with the instructor. Each student submits several projects and a final portfolio. The class also includes a presentation (with written, multimedia, and oral portions), in-class writing exercises, and the use of word-processing and presentation software. Prerequisite: English 101 with a grade of C+ or above. S. LeMahieu Dunn. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

339 English Grammar. This study of traditional grammar focuses on its history, its system, its applications, its competitors, and its place in the middle school and high school classroom. Special emphasis is given to the system and terminology of this grammar. Evaluation is based on daily assignments, in class projects, and test. E. Vander Lei, J. Vanden Bosch. 8:30 a.m. to noon.

CANCELED IDIS W17 Taos Art & Literary Expedition. G. Fondse, L. Naranjo-Huebl.