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Intermediate Courses

Intermediate courses expose students to a larger set of questions or texts. The primary aim of these courses is breadth. These courses serve either as preparation for advanced courses for concentrators in literary studies or as general courses in literature for non-concentrators.

Focus
Literature 216m Staff
2 credits
Offered periodically, depending on student and faculty interest, each of these modules invites students to spend six weeks focusing intensively on the major works of a single writer. Courses may treat literature in English, or another language, or may allow qualified students to read texts in either. Recent modules have focused on Albert Camus and Ralph Ellison. No prerequisites.
Last taught S12.
Pilgrims, Sinners, and Yahoos: Major British Authors
Literature 221 Holladay
3 credits
A study of the works of three of the greatest British writers, this course begins with an examination of the extraordinary variety and rich humanity of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, then turns to a consideration of the grandeur and complexity of John Milton’s vision in Paradise Lost and other poems, and finally moves on to an encounter with the fierce indignation and satiric genius of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and Gulliver’s Travels. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F08.
Shakespeare
Literature 222 Holladay
3 credits
A study of eight to 10 of the major plays that illustrate the variety of Shakespeare’s achievement in different dramatic modes—history, comedy, tragedy, and romance—and his imaginative development as a poet and playwright in the context of the Elizabethan age. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once a year.
Modern Irish Literature
Literature 225 Mathews
3 credits
This course explores the work of writers who have contributed to an examination of Ireland and its people during the 20th century—a time that saw the struggle to end colonial rule, civil war, cycles of poverty and emigration, sectarian violence, an economic boom and bust, and a fragile peace. The course offers a grounding in the Irish Literary Revival of the early 20th century, a movement that was intimately connected with both literary modernism and Irish nationalism, and traces how debates about literature and “Irishness” continued to play out over the course of the century. Writers studied include James Joyce, J.M. Synge, W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Flann O’Brien, Edna O’Brien, Seamus Heaney, Conor McPherson, and Anne Enright. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S12.
American Drama: Moderns and Contemporaries
Literature 231 Rodgers
3 credits
This course offers a survey of American dramatists of the past century. The focus will be on reading several plays by each of a handful of writers and examining these plays as individual works, as part of the playwright’s oeuvre, and as representative of broader trends in modern and contemporary drama and culture. Writers and works will vary each time the course is taught. Recently, they have included O’Neill, Wilder, Hellman, Williams, Miller, Hansberry, Albee, Shepard, Mamet, Wasserstein, Wilson, and Kushner. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught S10.
The Harlem Renaissance
Literature 232 Staff
3 credits
In Harlem, during the decade separating the end of World War I and the beginning of the Depression, a generation of black artists and writers born around the turn of the century emerged as a self-conscious movement, flourished, and then dispersed. They described themselves as part of a “New Negro Renaissance”; cultural historians describe them as participants in the Harlem Renaissance. In this course, students will survey the literature, culture, and politics of the Renaissance by examining essays, memoirs, fiction, poetry, art, and music of the period. Readings will include works by W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Charles S. Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, Alain Locke, George Schuyler, and Rudolph Fisher; Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and Sterling Brown; Arna Bontemps, Jean Toomer, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Nella Larsen, Wallace Thurman, and Zora Neale Hurston. The course will also consider the work of artists and musicians of the period. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S09.
Modern American Fiction: Disturbing the Peace
Literature 233 Rodgers
3 credits
This course offers a survey of some of the major works of American fiction written during the 1920s, as well as the immediately preceding and succeeding decades—a period that included the emergence of writers historians would later describe as part of a second American literary renaissance. This survey begins with Stein’s experiments in prose and perception in Three Lives (1909) and concludes with one of the novels in Dos Passos’s trilogy U.S.A. Other readings include the linked stories of Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio and Toomer’s Cane; The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, and The Sound and the Fury; e.e. cummings’s only novel, The Enormous Room; two novels from the Harlem Renaissance, McKay’s Home to Harlem and Larsen’s Quicksand; Cather’s My Antonia and Lewis’s Main Street; and Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Weekly discussions of these readings examine them as formal experiments, as social and cultural commentaries, and as contributions to the creation of a particularly American literature in the 20th century. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F11.
Home on the Range: Western Films and Fictions
Literature 237 Hutchinson
3 credits
The American West has long been associated with America’s sense of its national identity. Historians, politicians, artists, writers, and filmmakers have shaped a pervasive and complex national mythology from the history and geography of the lands west of the Mississippi (or, more exactly, west of the 100th meridian). Given its familiarity and attractiveness, this mythology often succeeds in obscuring the contradictory and problematic beliefs about American culture and history that it embodies. This course explores the nature of this mythology as it has been constructed in a number of paired literary and filmic works. Particular attention will be given to the evolving and often conflicting representations of the West and the Westerner (and their associated ideologies), and to the ways in which these works both create and subvert them. Studying these two genres should also lead to a greater awareness of the similarities and differences between literature and film when it comes to such narrative elements as character, setting, conflict, point of view, and 126 theme. Paired films and fictions include the following: Shane; High Noon/“The Tin Star”; Stagecoach/“Stage To Lordsburg”; Lonely Are the Brave/The Brave Cowboy; The Searchers; The Ox-Bow Incident; Smoke Signals/The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; All the Pretty Horses; and Brokeback Mountain. In addition, students will read a number of scholarly commentaries on western films and literary works that help to position these in relation to the main themes of the course. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S12.
American Fiction: 1950–2000
Literature 238 Rodgers
3 credits
This course is a survey of American short stories and novels published between World War II and the present. Authors, texts, and focus vary each time the course is offered. Authors include both established figures and experimental and/or new writers; texts include both well-known and lesser-known works. Topics may include the Beats; black humor; the emergence of Jewish American, African American, and women writers; the “nonfiction novel”; metafiction and postmodernism; minimalism and “dirty realism.” No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S07.
Crossing the Water: Contemporary Poets of the U.S. and U.K.
Literature 239 Filkins
3 credits
Throughout the last two centuries there has been a rich exchange and influence at work between poets of America and the United Kingdom countries. This course will look closely at the work of six American-based poets—Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Theodore Roetke, John Ashbery, and Rita Dove—in tandem with six United Kingdom poets—Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, John Kinsella, and Carol Ann Duffy—in order to draw comparisons and distinctions between poetry on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as to consider the global developments of poetry written in English over the last fifty years in Australia, the Caribbean, England, and Northern Ireland. In addition, students will read and respond to twelve other U.S. and U.K. poets, in order to provide themselves with a fuller picture of the wide range of poetries that have developed in each of these regions. Themes to be explored will include the uses of autobiography, the uses of nature, cultural history, gender, national identity, and evolutions in language and formal approaches. Through papers and a presentation, students will also hone their critical skills in reading and celebrating the richness of contemporary poetry in English throughout the world. No prerequisites.
Literary Realism and Naturalism
Literature 240 Staff
3 credits
Between the Civil War and World War I, realism and naturalism emerged as the dominant modes of literary expression in America. Influenced by such European writers as Zola, Balzac, Flaubert, and Dostoeyvski, American writers turned away from Romanticism, insisting that the ordinary and the local were as suitable for artistic portrayal as the magnificent and the remote. While the realists focused primarily on the motives and actions of ordinary men and women, the naturalists inclined toward greater frankness in their depiction of the downtrodden and abnormal and the deterministic forces of nature and chance. The fiction of this period provides a dramatic historical and social portrait of America as it moved into the 20th century. Writers studied include W.D. Howells, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, Hamlin Garland, Jack London, Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, and Frank Norris. No prerequisites.
Last taught F08.
Whitman & Dickinson
Literature 244 Hutchinson
3 credits
Walt Whitman’s “barbaric yawp” and Emily Dickinson’s oblique “letter to the world” constitute the two major voices of 19th-century American poetry. Both suffered from a degree of neglect and misunderstanding in their lifetimes, but are now recognized as two of the most innovative and original poets ever to have written in the English language. Many regard them as the founders of modern American poetics. As writers they provide a fascinating study in contrasting styles of expression, one favoring elliptical brevity and variations on traditional metrical and musical forms, the other indulging in expansive free verse renderings of his experience of American life. Their approaches to the world were just as different: One tended to limit herself and her writing to a narrow circle of family and friends, while the other engaged with public life and ambitiously sought critical recognition; one rarely published during her lifetime, while the other published the same book of poems multiple times, constantly revising and expanding it. This course studies their poetry in the context of their lives and the historical and intellectual milieu of the nineteenth century. No prerequisites.
Last taught S10.
From Metatron to Mephistopheles: The Personification of Good and Evil in the Abrahamic Tradition
Literature 251 Fiske
3 credits
This course considers the history and development of Angels and of Satan in three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Texts will include selections from the Tanak, the New Testament, the Apocrypha, the Koran, Interpreted, and the Kabbalah. We will explore themes such as the rhetoric of good and evil, the promise of salvation and damnation, the notion of faithfulness and sin, and the concepts of eschatology and apocalypticism. Further, we will read a variety of literary texts imbued with these themes in order to understand the ways in which good and evil have been personified in literature. No prerequisites.
Last taught S10.
Faith and Doubt: Christian Themes in Literature
Literature 253 Hutchinson
3 credits
This course offers students a forum where Christian themes can be studied in various literary genres, not as articles of faith but as complex issues that require further exploration and discussion. By examining some personal, literary, and theological dimensions of these themes, we should be able to arrive at a fuller understanding of the meaning and purpose of human life as it is expressed within a Christian literary context. Readings include works by Frederick Buechner, Graham Greene, C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Shusaku Endo, George MacDonald, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton, Walker Percy, and Charles Williams, as well as selections from the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, George Herbert, Wallace Stevens, and others. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F11.
Romantic Visionaries
Literature 255 Hutchinson
3 credits
Romanticism initially emerged in Europe and England during the political and social upheavals of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many of its adherents saw it as a philosophical, psychological, and artistic correlative to these changes in the world order. Although the definitions of Romanticism have always been complex, prompting ongoing debate among critics and historians as to its nature and meaning, it remains true that in various forms it has had a significant impact on the literature of the past 200 years. This course focuses on a particular aspect of literary Romanticism: The expression and exploration of “visionary” states of consciousness by various Romantic writers, both early and modern. Particular attention is given to the idea of the imagination—its possible role as a mode of perception and knowledge. Readings include essays, short stories, novels, plays, and poetry selected from such writers as Goethe, Novalis, Hoffmann, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, the Shelleys, Emerson, MacDonald, Rilke, Hesse, Williams, Ginsberg, and Barfield. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F09.
The Labyrinth of Being: Russian Writers of the 19th Century
Literature 256 Holladay
3 credits
The 19th century is recognized as the golden age of Russian literature, and the excellence of the fiction of that period is beyond dispute. The novels and short stories of the era are exquisitely crafted and are lyrical and exuberant, ironic and despairing by turns; they are full of the mystery and passion, the bitter complexities of human life. The survey will include works by Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Goncharov, Pushkin, and Chekhov. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught F11.
Modern Drama: From Realism to the Absurd
Literature 257 Rodgers
3 credits
An intensive examination of writers, theories, and movements of 19th- and 20th-century drama. Authors, texts, and subjects differ each time the course is taught, and may include the works of writers such as Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw, Strindberg, Jarry, Pirandello, Lorca, O’Neill, Beckett, Brecht, Camus, Sartre, Genet, Ionesco, Pinter, Miller, Williams, and Albee. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S09.
The 19th-Century Novel: Inventing Reality
Literature 258 Rodgers
3 credits
This course examines major works of realism and naturalism by 19th-century European and Russian novelists in their social and political contexts. Novels are selected from the works of writers such as Austen, Balzac, Conrad, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Eliot, Flaubert, Gogol, Stendhal, Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Zola. No prerequisites.
This course is offered when there is sufficient student interest. Last taught S10.
Writers from Eastern Europe
Literature 259 Rodgers
4 credits
This course offers a survey of modern and contemporary writing from Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Serbia. Students will read a variety of works from the pre- and post-World War II period. Readings include such prewar classics as Hasek’s The Good Soldier Schweik, Kafka’s short stories, Roth’s The Radetsky March, and Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles; the work of Nobel Prize winners Czeslaw Milosz and Imre Kertesz; Tadeusz Borowski’s harrowing tales of life and death in Auschwitz, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; Milan Kundera’s novels of exile, disillusionment, and sexual comedy, such as The Book of Laughter and Forgetting; the plays and essays of Vaclav Havel, who went from dissident to president; and works by other writers such as Danilo Kis, Norman Manea, Ivan Klima, Bohumil Hrabal, Josef Skvorecky, Ingeborg Bachman, and Slavenka Drakulic. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F08.
History, Politics, and the Novel
Literature 260 Rodgers
4 credits
This course examines post-World War II works in which writers have used the novel as a means of confronting fundamental public, historical, and political issues. Set in the United States, Europe, Africa, India, and the Caribbean, these novels employ techniques ranging from allegory and fable to historic reconstruction and fantastic reinvention. The most recent reading list included Camus’ The Plague, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Grass’s The Tin Drum, Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians, Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Morrison’s Beloved, Pamuk’s Snow, and Roth’s The Plot Against America. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F09.
Contemporary African Literature
Literature 261 CP Mathews
3 credits
Since the publication of Things Fall Apart 50 years ago, African writers have produced a range of novels and other works examining the continent’s colonial legacy; its struggle for independence; the competing claims of tradition and modernity; the nature of the family; the presence of conflict; and the relationship of the people, their countries, and continent to the West. The project of many of these writers has been to define (or redefine) Africa and its people on their own terms and in their own voice after centuries in which both the land and its inhabitants were defined from without. In this course, we will read novels, plays, poems, essays and other works in order to probe the current state of African writing and to examine the picture of Africa that emerges from the efforts of a broad array of its writers. No prerequisites.
Last taught F08.
Nature and Literature
Literature 264 CP Hutchinson
3 credits
This course examines various literary responses to the natural world, both as works of art and as expressions of different cultural beliefs and values (e.g., Buddhist, Zen Buddhist, Laguna Pueblo, Blackfeet, American Transcendentalist, Christian). Among the writers typically studied are Leslie Marmon Silko, James Welch, Matsuo Basho, William Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William Faulkner, Annie Dillard, Peter Matthiessen, Margaret Atwood, and Mary Oliver. Students have the opportunity to do some of their own nature writing in addition to pursuing critical explorations of writers and issues. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F10.
21st-Century Fiction
Literature 265 Mathews
3 credits
This course focuses on a range of literary works published in the past 10 years. As we read, we will ask how and why these works caught the attention of readers and critics: Is there such as thing as a “timeless classic,” or does everything depend on the context out of which a work arises, and into which it appears? Among the issues discussed are the intersections of personal and political history, familial relationships, and the ways in which writers revisit the past in order to achieve insight into the present. Writers include Deborah Eisenberg, Aleksandar Hemon, Edward P. Jones, Marilynne Robinson, Colson Whitehead, and others. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S11.
Postwar German Literature
Literature 268 Filkins
3 credits
This course will examine developments in German literature following World War II. Topics to be considered will include the various ways that writers and film directors dealt with the historical atrocities of the war itself; the issues attached to both the guilt and suffering of the Holocaust; the increased industrialization brought on by the German “economic miracle” of the 1950s; the separation of the two Germanies; and the forwarding of philosophical and aesthetic approaches to poetry and the novel in the contemporary work of West Germany, East Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and the reunited Germany. Writers discussed will include Günter Grass, Heinrich Böll, Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Wolfgang Koeppen, Thomas Bernhard, Christa Wolf, W.G. Sebald, and H.G. Adler. In addition, we will look at films by Rainer Maria Fassbinder, Volker Schlöndorff, and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. No prerequisites.
This course is offered every three or four years.
Latin American Women Writing Resistance
Literature 270 CP Browdy de Hernandez
3 credits
This course considers a diverse range of novels, short stories, poetry, essays, testimonials, and autobiography by Hispanic women writers of North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Questions of authority and resistance, gender and race, and class politics, as well as postcolonial issues, are discussed as they pertain to particular works. Readings include I, Rigoberta Menchu, by the 1992 Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize winner; testimonials by women involved with the resistance movements in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Argentina; feminist/antiracist works by Chicana activists Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa; novels by such writers as Cristina Garcia, Rosario Castellanos, Helena Viramontes, and others. We will also see a series of related films. Students will do independent research on topics related to the readings, and will write up their findings in an extended inquiry log project. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught F09.
Psychology and Literature
Literature 271 Fiske
3 credits
This course will consider the relationship between psychoanalysis and the creative process. It will focus on psychoanalytic theories of the expression of the human condition and apply those theories to such literary masters as Goethe, Shakespeare, James, Proust, Plath, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Poe. We will also consider a variety of other art forms that represent psychological reality, including film, sculpture, music, and dance. No prerequisites.
This course is generally taught every two years. Last taught S11.
French Film and Literature in Translation
Literature 275 Roe
3 credits
By viewing the films of many prominent French directors and by reading (in translation) the literary texts (novels, scripts, plays) upon which they were based, this course analyzes the relation between the literary works and cinema. (Other arts and media such as painting and music will also be addressed.) All films have subtitles. Students are encouraged to read literary works in the original language, whenever possible. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F06.
Virtual Communities: Storytelling in the Americas
Literature 279 CP Roe
3 credits
In the Americas the deep tradition of community storytelling has manifested itself dramatically in recent, innovative narratives. These narratives combine aspects of oral and written cultures, of native, ancient, and contemporary stories, and question the suitability and credibility of the written word even while they try to create new communities of readers. Reading a selection of North American, South American, and Caribbean novels in translation, this class aims to understand the at times critical, at times hopeful messages of these unusual texts and other media. Primary authors include Leslie Marmon Silko, Juan José Saer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Robert Antoni, Ricardo Piglia, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Subcomandante Marcos. Secondary readings will investigate the historical, anthropological, mythical, and political underpinnings of these stories and their complicated relationship to self, tradition, and artistry. No prerequisites.
Last taught S09.
Congo as Metaphor
Literature 242 CP Dongala
3 credits
In the writings of great philosophers of the Western world as well as in popular literature and cinema, Africa has long been cited as the epitome of what is base, brutal, and corrupt in human nature. Congo, the country and the river, being at the center of the continent, has been used so often to represent the “darkest Africa” that it has become the central metaphor of Africa’s (and humanity’s) savagery and moral decrepitude. In this course, we will read poetry, essays, fiction, and comic strips, and view films with Congo as the central theme. The reading list will include among others the famous poem “Congo” by Vachel Lindsay, Eugene O’Neil’s “The Emperor Jones,” Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend on the River, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and the Belgian comic strip Tintin in Congo. We will also examine some African points of view including Chinua Achebe’s essay on Conrad. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once a year.
Tears, Fears, and Laughter: Greek Tragedy and Comedy
Literature 286 Callanan
3 credits
We will investigate Greek drama, one of the highpoints of Western literature, primarily by studying—in translation—many of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as comedies of Aristophanes and the later poet Menander. We will consider theories concerning the origins of drama and the mysterious satyr play. The conditions of production will provide insights into the plays. How and by whom were the plays chosen? What theatrical conventions existed and how did they affect the playwright? What was the function of the chorus? Could Aristophanes really slander politicians and private citizens at will? How did the Athenian audience react to the anti-war sentiments expressed during wartime constantly by Aristophanes and occasionally by Euripides? No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F11.
The Personal Essay
Literature 287/487 Hutchinson
3/4 credits
This course offers students the opportunity to write in an informal style and personal voice about a wide range of topics. The personal essay typically combines elements of storytelling and description with reflective exploration. By locating the writer’s personal experience within a larger context of ideas, the personal essay draws the reader into situations and settings that address questions of more universal relevance. Over the course of the term, students experiment with different ways of achieving the essay’s mixture of rendering and reflection. Students produce some new writing every two weeks, both on assigned topics as well as ones of their own choosing, and must write and revise two extended essays during the course of the term. Class time is spent discussing students’ writing and the work of published essayists, as well as occasionally engaging in informal writing activities. Prerequisite: Literature 150 or permission of the instructor.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught F10.
Fiction Workshop
Literature 288/388 Mathews
3/4 credits
For students who have some experience in writing short fiction and want to give and receive helpful criticism in a workshop atmosphere, this course combines structure and freedom: Structure in the form of assigned exercises drawing attention to the elements and techniques of fiction and freedom in the form of longer, independently conceived stories. Some time is spent each week discussing short fiction by contemporary writers as well as that of students in the workshop, with the goal of sharpening our abilities as writers, editors, and critics. Admission to the course is selective; candidates must submit samples of their writing to the instructor before registration. Prerequisite: Literature 150 or permission of the instructor.
This course is generally offered once a year.
Poetry Workshop
Literature 289/489 Filkins
3/4 credits
The workshop is intended for students willing to make their own writing a means of learning about poetry, poetic devices, and techniques, and the discipline of making and revising works of art. Class time is divided between a consideration of the students’ work and the work of modern British and American poets, but the central concern of the course is the students’ own writing, along with the articulation, both private and shared, of response to it. Prerequisite: Literature 150 or 151.
This course is generally offered once a year.
Translation Workshop
Literature 291/491 Filkins
3/4 credits
This workshop is intended for students interested in exploring both the process of translation and the way in which meaning is created and shaped through words. Class time is divided among consideration of various approaches to the translation of poetry and prose, comparisons of various solutions arrived at by different translators, and the students’ own translations into English of poetry and prose from any languages and texts of their own choosing. Prerequisite: One year of language study or permission of the instructor.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F06.
Doing Digital Media: From Mainstream to LiveStream
Literature 295 Browdy de Hernandez
3 credits
In this media studies practicum course, students will learn and practice basic news gathering and production techniques for a range of different delivery platforms, from digitized “print” format newspapers, radio podcasts and live broadcasts, blogs and short video clips. Drawing on both print and online resources, we will explore the history of the media in the U.S. and its current state today, asking questions such as: What is the role of the so-called alternative media today, and which media outlets are best at performing this role? What impact has the widespread use of social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook had on the business and practice of journalism, as well as on our political system? On the practical side, students will work with producers at the Great Barrington Community Radio Station, WBCR-LP, to produce a news-based radio show, and will also produce short informational video clips. Assignments will include: a series of journalistic writing assignments keyed to specific formats; a multimedia research project; the start-up of a blog; and participation in community radio and video production projects. There is a course fee.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught S12.