Senior Electives Spring 2022
Course Name: Food Writing
Food plays a singularly important role in the essential processes of life - not just the biological, but the social, the cultural, the historic, the romantic, the educational, the corporate, the popular and the blowback. This course will engage students in reading, discussion, and writing about the world through the lens of food.
Topics will include food production and access; the role of food in memory; food as a mark of identity and cultural capital; food media and the business of food; recipes; and food’s treatment in literature. Students will have the opportunity to practice different genres of food writing, including memoir, journalism, critique, historical research, and cookbook writing and reviewing.
Course Name: Science-Fiction & Fantasy Literature II
This Spring 2022 class is a variant or continuation of the Fall's Science-Fiction & Fantasy Literature class. In this course, we will explore a variety of novels and short stories that detail speculative narratives across various scenarios from the ramifications of global male infertility to reimagining of old world deities in modern America and to depicting first contact with sentient beings. In reading narratives such as these, we will explore moral and ethical questions, philosophy and commentary on our contemporary world. In regard to writing, class will focus on crafting and refining our own original speculative fiction. Possible texts include: P.D. James' The Children of Men, Neil Gaimain's American Gods, Ocatvia Butler's "Bloodchild", Emily St.John Mandel's Station Eleven, Orson Scott Card's The Speaker for the Dead and Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son.
Course Name: Indigenous Voices: Contemporary Native American Fiction
“We are still America. We.” -- Joy Harjo
When Mvskoke poet Joy Harjo was chosen as the first Native American to hold the role of U.S. poet laureate in 2019, the choice served as a reminder that indigenous literatures in the United States remain as vital and relevant as ever. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a wide range of 20th and 21st century Native American fiction, extending across many tribal nations, communities, time periods, and perspectives. We will examine how Native writers construct Native identity, utilize literary genre and form, and explore the larger sociopolitical contexts in which they live. We will explore significant issues facing indigenous communities, including reservation and urban life, substance abuse, religious freedom, and ecological crisis. Possible texts include There There by Tommy Orange, Savage Conversations by LeAnne Howe, Whereas by Layli Long Soldier, House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday, and Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich.
Course Name: Stories on Film
From Battleship Potemkin to Black Panther, from Psycho to My Octopus Teacher, films, like books, tell us essential stories. This course explores how to watch and listen to films and how stories are told through the medium of film. We’ll do a deep dive learning how cinematic language and structure affect character and theme. We’ll study how the hero, anti-hero and villain we need evolves within the context of any given period, as films do not exist in a vacuum. Movies are conceived, produced, distributed and consumed within specific economic, technological, cultural and historical contexts.
Course Name: Poetry Workshop
Great poetry is not something that should be only read or written by the few: it is a lively, social, and even combative artform that is inventing itself anew. Poetry Workshop is a chance to develop a relationship with your poetic voice. Our readings will be diverse and our writing will be marked by our individual experiences, passions, and imaginations. Students will find a place for experimentation and support through weekly student-led workshops, class discussions, and presentations. Each week will offer a new poetic form or movement to explore—consider the span from hip-hop lyrics to the sonnet to a poem made of movie titles. With these readings will also come big questions that they provoke. And we will meet with a live poet or two.
Course Name: Asian American Literature
By surveying the work of a variety of Asian American writers from the late 20th century to present, we will examine how individual and collective identities are formed and transformed. The political, economic, and social experiences of Asian Americans will be explored through literature, film, criticism, and historical texts to address questions of migration, diaspora, acculturation, alterity, class, and the purposes of artistic expression.