English 180 – Themes in Children’s Literature
4 semester hours
Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
The stories we tell our children display many of our beliefs about how the world is and how it should be. This class will read a wide variety of children’s and young adult books from the past century, and analyze the themes we find in them. We will look for patterns that repeat over time, and examine what elements change or remain the same. We will read closely to discover what actions, thoughts, and ways of relating are supported or denigrated by these stories.
Class work will include reading at least one book a week, participating in discussion, a reading journal, six short response papers, a midterm, and a term paper.
English 180 – Finding a Place at the Table: Identity and Social Justice in Gay and Lesbian Literature
4 semester hours
Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
Any group of people who find themselves somewhere outside of the mainstream will likely confront a common problem: the terms they use to describe themselves may actually be demeaning and self-limiting. Consider that before women could feel entitled to privileges like voting and higher education, they first had to see themselves in terms that did not restrict them to domestic roles, and before African Americans could challenge policies that kept them out of some restaurants and theaters, they needed to dispense with racist assumptions that disentitled them from such privileges in the first place. For over the last hundred years or so, gay and lesbian writers have taken on just this kind of work through their fiction, their plays, and their poetry, and in this class—the first of its kind at Wittenberg--we’ll consider some major figures in this effort to “find a place at the table.” We’ll read lesbian writers like Radclyffe Hall and Jeannette Winterson as well as gay writers like James Baldwin and Tony Kushner, all of whom have been creating—or rather recreating—homosexual identities in their work in an effort to challenge some self-defeating assumptions. Through these readings, we’ll ask questions about the received ideas that such writers contest, and we’ll critically examine the new assumptions that they appear to make about gay and lesbian identities. In the process, you will encounter some ideas about the way identities of any kind can be influenced by language and by narrative (i.e. the kinds of stories available within a given culture), and you will take a critical view of the history of sexual identities more broadly. This is a writing-intensive course.
English 290A American Literary Traditions: Home / Economics
4 semester hours
Prerequisite: ENGL 170, ENGL 180A or ENGL 190A/C
I know a family--mother, father, and child--that lives and works on an organic farm outside Yellow Springs, in a tent-home called a "yurt," on about $10,000 a year. And these are some of the most joyful and intense people I know. Like Thoreau, who said, "My purpose in going to Walden Pond was not to live cheaply nor to live dearly there," they, too, want "to live deep and suck all the marrow out of life." My friends are striving to joyfully survive and engage in honorable exchanges with others--and, like Thoreau, with a sense of the real cost of things--in time, in damage to the environment, to human relations, and to their own souls. But Thoreau was a man living alone, as an experiment, for a couple of years--my friends are striving to make this simple life work as a family with a child to raise, in a modern age, with many more "tools" to use, and be used by. ("Man is the tool of his tools," said Thoreau). We're (eventually) going to visit my friends on their farm, maybe even get our hands dirty, and read a lot of stories about houses, families, food, and money. The presence of women and children in a home or a workplace is often a marker of hominess and, in the US, of a certain kind of "domestic ideology"--i.e., a set of ideas about what "work" and "home" are, and how people ought to live their daily lives. It seems so gentle and warm, but recent scholars are asking us to take this ideology more seriously as a weapon of colonization, working in the heart of the family....which is exactly where we'll focus our attention. Coursework will include: midterm, two essays, a final exam. Likely books: Bedford Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1; Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple; Thoreau's Walden; Zitkala-Sa's American Indian Stories; Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence.
English 319A- Women in Literature II: British
4 semester hours
Prerequiste: ENGL 200 and ENGL280A/Non-majors must have junior standing
In the last two centuries, the enforced silence of women in the preceding millennium has been broken, sometimes indignantly and sometimes joyously, by a chorus of important women writers. These women begin to give not only a feminine perspective on the "universal" (often mostly male) experience of humanity, but also their versions of specifically feminine experience. Many of the themes we will explore are continuations and expansions of those in Women in Literature I, but this course is not dependent on that one. We will be looking at such common themes as the domestication of woman into the private sphere, the stereotyping of women as either madonna or whore, the education of women, the repression and degradation of women's writing, and the creation of the feminine self. In exploring these themes, we will, I hope, recognize the roots of many of our own ideas about gender, both positive and negative.
We will read a broad selection of British, Irish, and Commonwealth writers, beginning with Jane Austen and including authors such as the Brontës, Barrett Browning, C. Rossetti, George Eliot, Woolf, Mansfield, Boland, and Byatt. Graded work will include two short papers, a mid-term exam, a longer paper (12-15 pages), and a final examination or project. Writing Intensive. Fulfills the requirement in post-1800 British literature for the teaching licensure track. Counts towards the Women's Studies minor.
English 380 – “Road Trip! Mobility in American Autobiography”
4 semester hours
Prerequiste: ENGL 200
Emerson, that spoilsport, famously complained, “Travelling is a fool’s paradise….At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from.” Nevertheless, he, and many American writers have ignored the implications of this sage advice and have jauntily set off for some destination in the US or abroad, and recorded the experiences of their “sad selves” on that journey. In fact, travel in American autobiographical writing often becomes itself a means to explore questions of social mobility—of movement across class, race and gender lines. America famously loves the rags-to-riches narrative, the success story, the person who travels from a lowly social status to a higher one. We’re famously a nation of immigrants, of travelers, who have believed that if they move to the United States, they can achieve anything, and even become anyone, they want to be, if they are just willing to work. This, however, has sometimes proved to be a fantasy that real life does not sustain—and often people end up somewhere they didn’t quite imagine at the start of the journey. In the life stories we will read in this course, travel will sometimes involve cross dressing, racial passing, or some attempt to shed social status or stigma. The life-writing may come in the form of traditional book-length autobiography, but will also include poetry and essays, and maybe photography, film or graphic works. Here are some likely texts: Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, poetry by Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, Ellen and Richard Craft, Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom, Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, Richard Rodriguez, The Hunger of Memory, Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Allison Bechdel, Fun Home: An American Tragicomedy.
HFS 245H HISTORY OF WOMEN IN SPORT:
Historical Perspectives of Women in Sport studies the development of sport from early religious ritual to a modern corporate model in western society. The genesis and development of recreation, sport, and exercise for women has been influenced by religion, medicine, economics, politics, and ideology. The intersection of gender, race, and socioeconomic class for women of color is examined, as is the struggle by women for admission in the Olympics. Sport has served as a historical site for feminist transformation and the development of alternative western sport forms. Women have “dared to compete”. The struggle of women to gain entry into sport is both sad and inspirational. Class structure includes short lectures, videos, small group discussion, and analytical minute papers. Students write a sport autobiography, conduct a short cross generation sport interview, and study a related topic of interest in depth.
HIST 101H 1W. Life, Love and War in the Middle Ages
Prerequisite: Freshmen Section only. Supplemental Instruction available.
What was it like to live, love and die in the Middle Ages? This course will examine the lives of famous medieval people, like Charlemagne and Eleanor of Aquitaine, but also those whose experiences are not as well known – such as peasants, Jews, heretics, women and children. The lives of these people will be brought to life through modern novels but also the medieval accounts of their lives. By coming to appreciate the lives of medieval people, the larger political, economic, cultural and social developments that shaped the medieval period will be brought to life. Course assessment will consist of essay exams, papers, quizzes, presentations and class participation. This course counts toward the PAST minor. Writing intensive.
HIST 202H 2W. Children of the Past
Prerequisite: ENGL 101E. Sophomore standing.
What was it like growing up in the past? Did pre modern people have a “childhood?” Historians have recently turned their attention to investigating the private lives of medieval and early modern people. In this class we will explore what historians have uncovered about growing up in the past. We will examine the experiences of children in medieval London and Florence, Reformation Germany and sixteenth-century France. This course will also examine how historians “do” history. What methods, theories, philosophies inform how historians have approached examining the history of childhood? What are the issues that confront historians in regard to the use of primary sources and historiographic traditions? Should historians be objective? Can they be objective? Each of those questions is fundamental to the task, vocation and obligation of the historian. To address such issues, students will read, analyze and critique primary sources. The “history” of historical interpretation, or historiography, will also be explored through a series of monographs and articles. Students will write several short analytical essays, as well as a longer historiographical paper, and participate in discussion and debate. This course counts toward the PAST minor. Writing intensive.
HIST 312 1W. From King Arthur to King Edward I: England in the Middle Ages
Prerequisite: One course in History or permission of instructor.
The history of medieval England from the Anglo-Saxons through the Plantagenets is full of compelling historical personalities who left a lasting imprint on England and medieval Europe. This course will focus on some of the famous or infamous personages of that time, such as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as some of the heroic kings, like William the Conqueror and Edward I, and the mythic figures of King Arthur and Robin Hood. In addition to these well-known historical personages, the lives of less extraordinary including medieval peasants, merchants and monks, will also be explored. In addition to exposing students to the rich history of medieval England, another learning objective for this course is to develop students’ appreciation for the complexities of historical study by having them read primary sources and the often-conflicting interpretations of medieval scholars. Students will write several short response papers, two source analyses (one of a primary source, one of a historiographical debate) and will produce a major research paper on the topic of their choice, which they will present to the class. This course counts toward the PAST minor. Writing intensive.
HIST 319 1W. European Women's History
Prerequisite: One course in history or WMST 100L or permission of instructor.
Examination of European women in the modern period, which will explore the history of women’s lives and their contributions to the development of European politics, society, and culture from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Specific themes that we will cover include: religious experience, sexuality, political change, social lives, war, and work. Assessment: essay exams, papers, presentations, class participation. Writing intensive.
PHIL 204 R 01. Philosophy of Women’s Lives
Philosophy of Women’s Lives is a course in global feminism that combines narratives of women’s lives from across the globe with arguments in feminist theory to actively connect theory with experience. We will be reading material by Latina, African, Islamic, European, East Asian and Asian feminists as well as African-American, Chicana and white U.S. feminists. Among the topics we will discuss are individual and collective rights, body image, sexuality, reproductive rights, women’s labor various definitions feminism, the role of feminism in cultures, and the future of global feminism. The course will be reading intensive. You will be assessed through quizzes, essay exams, written assignments, and course projects. There are two optional course add-ons: 1 credit Service Learning add-on and a 1 credit Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum. See these descriptions below.
Optional Course Component: Service Learning 100 (SVLN 100)
This optional course component provides students an opportunity to link a service experience to a particular course for one semester hour of credit. The precise nature of the service activity and its appropriate connection to course content are determined in consultation with the faculty member teaching the course to which Service Learning 100 is to be linked.
Optional Course Component: Cultures and Language Across the Curriculum (LANG 230)
Interested in using your foreign language skills to earn extra credit connected to this course and to learn more about the subject matter of this course at the same time? If so, register for the CLAC components offered here. You don’t need to be fluent in the language to exercise this option. In fact, you need only to have completed two credits beyond 112 or to be currently enrolled in a course beyond 112. Your work will be guided by your professor and by faculty from the Languages Department. The CLAC module is designed for intermediate level language learners.
This course offers a foreign language component or CLAC component in the following languages:
German, Spanish, French Students who select the CLAC option will complete work in a foreign language that will supplement the work in this course. Students who complete the CLAC assignments successfully will earn 1 credit for the CLAC component.To register for the CLAC component, you must also register for a one-credit LANG 230 CLAC module listed among the Language Department’s offerings. Meeting times and location will be arranged at the beginning of the semester. Credit for CLAC modules may be counted toward the requirements for International Studies and as elective credit in the Language department.
PHIL 304 1W. Knowing Bodies
Knowing Bodies is an advanced epistemology of the body course. We will study the role of the body in acquiring and making knowledge by focusing specifically on embodiment through race, gender, sexuality, and ability. We will closely examine the relationships between epistemologies of the body and aesthetics, ethics, medicine, and social action. The course will move between theory and practical outcomes of our epistemological views of the body. For example, we will look at how our epistemological conceptions of ability shape public space and access to public space. We will also look at how the effect of epistemological claims about race generates specific policies about entitlement, affirmative action, and education.
SOCI 380 01 Identity, Self and Society
This course will survey leading theories of self and identity in the tradition of symbolic interaction and apply them creatively and critically to the everyday world. After studying the conceptual positions of George Herbert Mead, Charles Cooley, and Erving Goffman on self, the course will test the explanatory character of these positions against demanding subjects like madness, prejudice, friendship, and leadership. The course will also address how self and identity are important issues in areas of postmodernism, feminism, and colonization.
The question that will center our inquiries is, How is the individual dependent upon as well as autonomous from the social community?
Lectures, group discussions, films, writing assignments, and tests will be oriented toward addressing this question. While taught from a sociological perspective, the course will encompass an interdisciplinary approach; it will draw upon readings in psychology, education, philosophy, theology, and political science.
This course is also an opportunity for students to integrate service to the community with their actual course work. Students engage in service learning activities at the NAMI drop-in center, a meeting place for people suffering from serious and chronic mental illness near Wittenberg University. Readings on schizophrenia and madness will be interwoven into the topic of identity and self-understanding and reinforced through students’ service activity.
Spanish 260/1.1: El mundo contemporáneo (Contemporary Issues of the Hispanic World)
(2 semester hours)
Prerequisite: Spanish 112, or Spanish 150, or placement at the 200 level.
This course focuses on contemporary issues of the Hispanic world including topics such as immigration, politics, pop culture, economics, demography, religion, social class, and globalization. The course will help students develop conversational skills and strategies.
Spanish 263/1.2: El cine y el cambio social (Film and Social Change)
(2 semester hours)
Prerequisite: Spanish 112, 150 or 200 level placement
This course introduces students to film from Spain and Latin America that intersect with social and historical transitions. Students will explore the cultural context of each film, analyze major themes, and discuss the role of film as a reflection of and catalyst for social change. The course will focus on aiding students in developing language skills for description and reporting.
THDN 213H Dance in the 20th Century
4 Semester Hours
This course is designed for those of us who love to watch dance. We begin by looking at dance in the late 19th century, then move to an examination of modernism seen in the dances of Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, and finally we look at the post-modernist works of Tharp and Morris. You will write short papers and reviews covering the dances on film. Assessment is based on writing assignments, exams, and class participation. Writing Intensive.