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Registration: Interim

Interim 2012


ENGL W10 Spirituals and the Blues.  This course presents a study of the spirituals and the blues, analyzing their common origins in American slavery and the historic divide between sacred and secular music in African American culture. Whereas blues singers were often condemned for singing “the devil’s music,” James Cone, in his seminal book, The Spirituals and the Blues, argues in contrast that the blues should be interpreted as “secular spirituals.” Students will read descriptions of the spirituals and blues written by influential African American authors, including Frederick Douglass,
W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison. Students listen to and analyze lyrics from spirituals and blues music in order to evaluate the validity of Cone’s thesis. Requirements include an oral presentation, that is, an “ethnomusical” biography of an important blues musician. Students also take a final exam, which asks them to develop their own analysis of the relationship between the spirituals and the blues, the sacred and secular music of African American culture.  B. Ingraffia.  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

ENGL W40 New England Saints.  In the mid-nineteenth century, a group of New England writers created a body of literature dealing with significant religious, philosophical, and artistic questions that challenged conventional understandings of the world.  This course deals with these authors and their questions, grappling with the way 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.  After three days of on-campus classes, and after reading Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, Alcott, Longfellow, Whittier, Hawthorne, and Bradford, the group travels to a living history museum in Maine to enter the period, and then to Concord, for on-site discovery, examination, and discussion with local academics and historians.  The class remains in New England for 2 ½ weeks, visiting Salem, Cape Cod and Plymouth, Lowell, Boston, Amherst, and Springfield.  The objective in each case is to unite the students’ reading, their experience on site, and their own wrestling with what it means to be a Christian writer, artist, and thinker. This course may fulfill an elective in the writing major, the literature major, the English secondary and elementary education majors and  the language arts major. Course dates: January 4-24. Fee:  $1995.  N. Hull, G. Schmidt, W. Vande Kopple. Off campus.

ENGL W41 Dialects & Disney. Villainous voices? The hero, the sidekick, and the maiden in distress…what do their voices tell us?  Children’s movies rely heavily on the use of accent and dialect to create memorable characters and often communicate dominant beliefs about speakers from particular language groups.  This course investigates the sociolinguistic implications of the stylistic deployment of dialect in voicing characters in animated films directed toward children.  Students will learn phonological bases of accented Englishes and syntactic and phonological structure of specific American dialects including Chicano English, Appalachian English, and African American English.  In addition to exploring linguistic detail of these varieties, students will learn to analyze linguistic features presented in children’s films and evaluate the social import of linguistic features. Student evaluation will be based on brief exploratory essays, class participation, and a final project.  Each student will also prepare one class presentation.  This class may fulfill an elective in the English major, the Linguistics major, the ESL minor, or the English minor.  A. Kortenhoven.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

CANCELED ENGL W42 Multi-media Story Telling. This course explores multimedia storytelling and journalism. Students combine writing, photography, graphics, and video to produce interactive feature stories and non-fiction pieces. Students work on several individual and collaborative projects, doing library/field research, interviewing sources, shooting pictures, writing and editing text, as well as experimenting with graphic design and website production. Student evaluation is based on class participation and on successful completion of assigned projects.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Writing major/minor, Literature major, Journalism minor, Secondary Education major, ESL minor, and Language Arts major. D. Hettinga.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

CANCELED ENGL W43 Human Creativity & the Literary Arts. This course is designed for, but not limited to, writers interested in exploring the creative process as well as looking for inspiration for their art. Throughout the course, students investigate answers to a variety of questions: What is the source of human creativity and how do writers tap into it? What can be learned from pioneers in and outside the literary arts—their methods, their studios, their habits of thought? What does creativity have to do with godliness? The primary text for the course is Peter Turchi’s Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, but students watch and discuss documentaries of various artists reflecting on their art—architects such as Frank Gehry, musicians such as Les Paul, photographers such as Annie Liebovitz, and others. The course approaches creativity in a multi-sensory, multimedia way. Class periods not only provide opportunities for the mind to roam in conversation but also hands-on exercises, mini-field trips, and invitations to play. Throughout the course, students reflect, dabble, scheme, and dream in a sketchbook—blank pages for their observations, questions, and creative responses, including the rough beginnings of stories, poems, or compositions. Students will be evaluated on the quality of the sketchbooks (25 page minimum) and a short reflection paper on the creative process (4 page minimum), as well as their level of engagement with the assigned readings and class activities. The ultimate goal, then, is that the course will serve as a hothouse for student creativity.  This course may count as an elective in the Writing minor.  L. Klatt. 8:30 a.m. to noon.

ENGL W44 Vampire Literature. This course challenges the claim that the current interest in vampires is a “recent” one.  In fact, great interest in vampires has bubbled up at several points in history, and it will be the task of the class to determine how these responses have been similar or unique. We will proceed by examining the development of the vampire mythos in England and Europe, and our texts will include vampire stories from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including, of course, Dracula.  We will read these texts in the context of their reception by original audiences and try to determine if those responses are comparable to those by audiences of today.  We will also examine a couple of “vampire epidemics” that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Newspapers at both times diligently reported on what was thought to be sudden plagues of vampires in their communities and we will consider what features of those cultures might explain the “appearance” of vampires.  Our exploration of the history of vampire literature will also cause us to ask more fundamental questions such as “What characteristics does a creature need to possess in order to be considered a vampire?” and “Are the Twilight films and The Vampire Diaries TV series actually vampire stories?” Students will read a collection of vampire literature from various genres and watch several films.  Evaluation will be based on a one-page response paper for each of the readings.  This course may fulfill an elective in the English majors. J. Williams.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

ENGL W45 Native American Literature. This course will focus on oral traditions and the narrative, prose, and poetry of Native (North) Americans.  Students will learn of the richness and diversity of various American Indian peoples, traditions, and beliefs as well as similarities in themes and storytelling styles.  The literature will be examined in relation to the values (including Christian) and “history” of dominant Anglo culture, which the voices of the authors resist, affirm, and/or illuminate.  Students will thereby better understand American literature and history and the role Christianity played and
continues to play in Native American identity.  Readings will include, among others, the writings of Occum, Appess, Zitkala-Sa, Waters, Momaday, Erdrich, Harjo, Alexie, and Silko.  Evaluation will be based on quizzes and worksheets, a group presentation, and a critical paper. This course may fulfill an elective in the English majors.  L. Naranjo-Huebl.  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

ENGL W46 Twice Told Tales.  There are some stories, it seems, that we all “know” whether or not we have read them.  For instance: even those who have never read The Scarlet Letter know the “A” is for adultery, just as people who have never opened a Bible could tell you that Jesus’ first basinet was a manger.  Often, though, our collective familiarity with these stories keeps us from really knowing them.  This class, then, offers students a chance to encounter anew some of the stories most familiar to us (including fairytales, Biblical narratives, and The Scarlet Letter) by studying retellings of those stories in literature and film.  Evaluation will be based on written responses to the texts assigned and will also craft their own retellings of a familiar narrative. This course may fulfill an elective in the English majors. J. Holberg, J. Zwart.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

ENGL W47 Finding God in the Movies: Kieslowski & Malick.  This course will look closely at the work of two “giants” in the domain of religion and film, particularly the work of the great Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-96) and contemporary American writer-director Terrence Malick (b. 1943).  Both filmmakers have deeply invested themselves through the length of their careers in the challenge of exploring religious belief and the nature of God.  Although Hollywood and film generally are usually seen as bastions of gleeful secularism, these two writer directors 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 means and “message.”  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 will include the viewing of films and discussion, including some time for professor lecture on filmmakers and meanings, though this is kept to minimum.  Students will be responsible for viewing the films and reading analysis of written critical texts.  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 often dark in their estimate of human life. The viewing list will include such films as Kieslowski’s Blind Chance, Decalogue, Three Colors, and Heaven and Malick’s Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World, and The Tree of Life (forthcoming). The course is designed to immerse students in the work of the two great masters of religious cinema to develop their own awareness of the religious capacities of cinema but also their exploration of the presence and character of the divine.  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.  This course may fulfill an elective in the English majors.  R. Anker. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

CANCELED ENGL W48 Revising for Publication. This class will operate as a writing workshop in which students revise their writing with the goal of submitting it for publication at the end of the course. As members of this workshop, students will learn about and practice a range of strategies for developing new material and refining that material into writing that is reader-ready. Throughout their revising, students will receive feedback from professors and peers in small-
group settings and one-on-one. In addition to daily workshop sessions, students will hear from editors and published authors about strategies for and the joys and frustrations of getting writing into print.  This workshop is open to students who are writing in a variety of creative, academic, and professional genres. Since students in this course will focus on revising, they should have completed a substantive rough draft of the writing that they hope to publish at the end of the course.  Evaluation will be based on the participation in the writing workshop, engagement with the revising process, and the completeness of a writer’s journal. This course may fulfill an elective in the Writing major/minor.  D. Ward.  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

ENGL 374 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 tests.  J. Vanden Bosch. 8:30 a.m. to noon.

IDIS W27 Inside the January Series.   R. Honderd, K. Saupe.  8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.