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Miscellaneous Course Descriptions

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Native American Literature (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

Native Americans, First Nations people, American Indians, Indigenous people – we debate terms but it is their ancestral land we now walk upon, and, there is now a nationwide movement to recognize the contributions of marginalized people of all backgrounds in America. In this special topics class, we will discover and discuss literature that represents various aspects of Native American life and culture, from a collection of Native American Creation Stories to the Pulitzer Prize finalist Tommy Orange’s novel, There There. We will discuss various events that have impacted Native Americans greatly such as the Trail of Tears and the Osage Murders. We will look at life both on and off the reservations and look at recent court cases that are determining the fate of Reservation lands and tribal identities.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Literature of the Middle East (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

It is exceptionally important that we examine the human, international story as we define policy, technology, politics, and consequence in a fully global world. This course focuses on contemporary literature (fiction and nonfiction) from the Middle East, stories of war, friendship, perseverance, violence, and gender. We will read Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), Khalil Gibran (The Prophet), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), and Mohsin Habid (Exit West), and Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban).

As Youssef Rahka argues in “Beyond The Thousand and One Nights: Contemporary Arabic Literature: Breaking Down Common Western Perceptions of Middle Eastern Writing, “…these stories and extracts demonstrate how intelligently and creatively Arabs are reclaiming traditions that are by now arguably as exotic to them as they are to Westerners, while dealing with society and politics in the same breath. They bear testimony to a collective worldview that not only subsumes but also transcends news reports of the troubled Middle East. And they make a statement on the human condition as lasting and universal as it is specific.”

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Girls (and Boys) of Summer (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

“There is no one else but us / in this house on the land spit. / The sea wears a bell in its navel.” – Anne Sexton

Summer is a time for hitting the beach, hanging out with friends, experiencing the early tinges of love, gathering on street corners, dusting off the bat and glove, and occasionally rumbling with rivals. All of these are part of life and therefore part of literature. In this course students will explore themes of summer, such as languor (“A Perfect Day for Bananafish” by J.D. Salinger), restlessness (“The Santa Ana” by Joan Didion), young love (“A&P” by John Updike), street fighting (Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz), and even a little bit of baseball (The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn) plus discussions of other short stories, excerpts from novels and memoirs, poems, and songs. Writers and musical artists we’ll meet also include Toni Morrison, Anne Sexton, Langston Hughes, The Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, The Kinks, and Madeleine Peyroux.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Existentialism on the Beach (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

We have spent an entire year mostly indoors which has led to much introspection, and this course will give students an opportunity to reflect through a variety of writing activities. The summer is a vibrant time of life, and students will use their own experiences in the summer to compose writing around existential questions. Readings will provide context for weekly core concepts and will include topics such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, and liminality. Authors will include Nietzsche, Kundera, Sartre, Hesse, and Heidegger, as well as contemporary existentialists. Students will work towards a final writing portfolio, exploring the course’s essential questions.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: LGBTQ Literature (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

“You tried to tell your story to people who didn't know how to listen.”
- Carmen Maria Machado, In the Dream House

LGBTQ voices have been lifted and accepted in the last few years in a way we have never seen before. This course will focus on extremely modern works written from 2017 to 2020. Students will experience LGBTQ literature that spans genres from the literary fiction (Sarah Winman’s Tin Man, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, and Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under) to satirical fiction (Chuck Palahniuk’s Adjustment Day) to nonfiction collections (David Sedaris’ The Best of Me and Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House). Students will see ranging LGBTQ authors, voices, and characters. Students will be able to analyze not only how the characters and their identities affect their experiences, but the political and cultural issues that shape how LGBTQ literature is formed. This course welcomes all students, particularly those interested in identity, sexuality, and subversive works of literature. This course does challenge ideas of comfortability and students must enter the course with an open mind.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Memoirs (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

This Spring 2022 Special Topics course will focus on memoir. Memoir, according to William Zinsser, is the art of inventing the truth. In this reading and workshop-based class, we’ll engage with those ‘invented truths’ as both readers and writers. We’ll read a varied selection of contemporary memoirs to examine how memoir works as literature; we’ll use close reading and textual analysis to see how memoir is constructed as story – not autobiography – and how writers satisfy the sometimes-conflicting demands of fact and truth.

We will also look at memoir from a writer’s perspective; the primary assignment for the course will be a memoir crafted over the semester. We’ll consider where to begin, how to select compelling scenes and details, how to render the people in our lives as characters. Most importantly, we’ll grapple with the task of creating a story that renders our uniquely personal experiences in a way that allows readers to discover their own truths as they engage with ours.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Displaced - Writers in Diaspora (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

A diaspora is the forced resettlement of people, usually caused by famine, war, or political or economic upheaval. Dispersed from their homelands, writers have worked through the complexities of identity and belonging while transcending the physical borders of the places that once define them. This course will explore the works of writers from various backgrounds whose lives have been shaped by the reverberations of diasporas. By exploring themes of identity, home, belonging, and nostalgia, we’ll interrogate the complex relationship between writer and the various cultural influences that have touched their journeys.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Women in Literature - A Study in Female Agency (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

This course will explore the quintessential literary hero’s journey through the perspective of the female characters. We will read and examine texts that exemplify this traditional motif and seek to answer questions such as: In what ways do authors restrict and/or promote a female character power and heroism? What characteristics exemplify a heroic woman in literary works? Employing three phases of feminist theory, students will analyze both the explicit and nuanced portrayals of women in literature. With each text, we will unpack the situation the author has created for the character and the ways that the character deals with the constrictions of the author’s plot.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Under the Southern Sun: Studies in Southern Literature (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

This course will examine a selected timeline of Southern literature ranging from 1932 to 2017. We will explore four novels as well as selected scholarship and essays that range from the classic to the contemporary. The Southern experience is not a homogenous one, and the four novels we read will explore this idea and challenge our preconceived notions. Our texts will also help us question what the South is and who is allowed to tell the story of the Southern experience. Students will engage in discourse surrounding historical, present, and future perceptions of the South as well as identity issues surrounding Southerners and Southern authors. Students must enter this course with an open mind, as this course is subversive, and the required texts contain controversial topics that challenge the idea of comfortability.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: American Horror (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

Horror is one of America’s oldest and most popular genres in literature, cinema, visual arts, and even music (think of Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and many others). Part of the appeal is escapism: It’s safer to scare oneself over things that go bump in the night than to ponder often terrifying real-life problems. Horror also provides a lens through which to view essential life themes, such as man’s role in the world, an individual’s struggle to assert themselves in a hostile society, and the inner conflicts of the mind and soul. In this course, the student will address such themes through short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and yes, Stephen King. Rather than horror for the sake of horror, the themes presented in the readings will provide the basis for class discussions and short, critical essays.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Controversial Comics and Graphic Novels (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

This course will focus on contemporary works of graphic fiction that address controversial topics: political dissent, obscenity, blasphemy, race, gender, sexuality, feminism, mythology, and cannibalism. We will consider what place censorship has in a free society. Where do we draw the line when we speak about censorship? Why have certain works of literature been banned throughout history and why do certain peoples and governments fear such literature? The texts we read in this course have been challenged as inappropriate for schools, public libraries, or general consumption. Students must enter the course with an open mind, as many of the texts we will be reading are subversive. Readings will include The Sandman Book One, The Preacher, Chew Volume 1, Lumberjanes, On a Sunbeam, and more.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Encounters with the Unknown: Minoritized Voices in Weird Fiction (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

Weird fiction holds up a mirror to our everyday lives and asks "what if?" The strange, the spooky, and the wonderous all allow us to see aspects of ourselves and our lives that we might otherwise miss, and weird fiction lets us interact with these experiences and truths that we overlook, turn away from, or bury. It seems natural that authors from minoritized populations have often explored their own stories through weird fiction. Anything expected or "normal" can be made weird with just the slightest change, and the stories about those changes--and who or what causes them--are endlessly fascinating, deeply bizarre, and fundamentally human.

This course will explore short contemporary science fiction and speculative fiction novels/novellas from authors of minoritized populations and/or featuring major characters from such populations. By exploring themes of otherness, humanity, freedom, community, and other mainstays of the weird fiction genre through minoritized and intersectional identities, we will learn more about ourselves while inquiring into the relationships between humans, their communities, their environments, and how those stories are portrayed on the page.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Screenplays as Literature (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

If plays are literature, then so are screenplays, as both are dramatic scripts—the former performed as theatre, the latter as cinema. So goes the premise of our course. In Screenplays as Literature, we will read screenplays of classic, contemporary, and international films. We’ll examine and discuss the screenplays’ merits as humanistic literary works—whether the scripts are original texts or adapted from preexisting ones. We will also consider some screenplays’ end creations— their filmic adaptations. Readings may include screenplays by Michelangelo Antonioni, Sofia Coppola, Kenneth Lonergan, Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele, and/or Quentin Tarantino.

ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: NH Writers (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

Students will read, analyze, and discuss well-known and widely read NH stories about life in the Granite State from before the Civil War to the 22nd century, as it has been presented to millions of readers throughout the world. The readings will include best-selling short stories and novels by John Irving, Stephen King, Grace Metalious, Jodi Picoult, Gloria Norton, and the best novel that you have probably never heard about by LeGrand Canyon Jr. (Really that is his name.) that has never been out of print since 1942, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has sold over a million copies, in multiple languages.

ENGL207M - Introduction to Literary Analysis: Displaced - Writers in Diaspora (3-0-3)

In this course students read, analyze, interpret and respond critically to notable works of fiction, poetry and drama. Emphasis is placed on learning critical reading strategies. The formal elements of literature and the major principles of literary criticism are introduced. Writing intensive. Prerequisite: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

A diaspora is the forced resettlement of people, usually caused by famine, war, or political or economic upheaval. Dispersed from their homelands, writers have worked through the complexities of identity and belonging while transcending the physical borders of the places that once define them. This course will explore the works of writers from various backgrounds whose lives have been shaped by the reverberations of diasporas. By exploring themes of identity, home, belonging, and nostalgia, we’ll interrogate the complex relationship between writer and the various cultural influences that have touched their journeys.

ENGL213M - Creative Writing: Read Global, Write Local (3-0-3)

Recent events have made us all the more aware of how interconnected and interdependent the world is, especially given the looming and daunting challenges of climate change, which impacts us all and makes it all the more urgent that we think on a global scale. To write at this moment is to be poised at the intersection of self, mind, community, and world; how, then, to navigate their complexities? In this class, we’ll traverse vast distances in order to consider how reading work from around the world can inform, shape, and enliven writing, while devoting equal attention to the worlds of experience and imagination closer to home. By examining full works and excerpts in a variety of genres, including Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights, Sue Hwang’s Bodega, Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities, and many others, we’ll consider how language, structure, culture, and identity might converge powerfully on the page. In turn, we’ll explore writing in a variety of genres through a series of exercises and longer pieces, while learning to workshop and revise.

ENGL213M - Creative Writing: Experimental Fiction (3-0-3)

Students learn and practice the techniques of creative writing using a combination of lecture, writing exercises and workshops. Using the writing process, students produce finished works of fiction and poetry, exploring and incorporating elements such as point of view, dialog, characterization, setting, imagery and poetic form and structure. Course readings are used for discussion, inspiration and idea development. Peer review and instructor feedback constitute a significant component of the course. Prerequisite: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

The Irish virtuoso of the short story William Trevor famously said “I think all writing is experimental.... I experiment all the time but the experiments are hidden.” In this class, we’ll look at writing that bends reality – and occasionally breaks it – and plays with language, structure, form, and narrative in a wide variety of ways. But this course isn’t only for writers who are striving to be “experimental.” Rather, we’ll explore how innovative and subversive strategies can open up writing of all types, and how all writers benefit from stretching the boundaries of convention. We’ll explore metafiction (which can be traced back to works like The Thousand and One Nights and Don Quixote), surrealism and magical realism, and stories written in the form of menus, PowerPoint presentations, Slack threads, and dating profiles. Whether you want to generate writing that is ostentatiously experimental or hide your experiments in plain sight, this class will give you an array of techniques and opportunities to set them loose.

Some writers we might consider are Georges Perec, Lesley Nneka Arima, Cristina Rivera Garza, Italo Calvino, Lance Olsen, Adam Haslett, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Can Xue, Svetaslav Basara, Kelly Link, Garielle Lutz, Karen Russell, the Best Experimental Writing 2020, ed. by Carmen Maria Machado and Joyelle McSweeney.

HIST203M - Topics in History: Slavery in the United States (3-0-3)

This course is designed to introduce students to the major events, themes, issues, and debates in African American enslavement from its African origins to emancipation within the United States. It serves as a general overview of the African American experience. Some of the specific topics covered may include Sub-Saharan enslavement, Transatlantic slave trade, and Caribbean slave experience to include the Haitian Revolution. American enslavement will focus on the colonial era, early republic, antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction Era challenges. Students will gain an understanding of how enslaved African Americans lived and intersected with the American population. A special emphasis will include the enslaved of U.S. presidents and the plight of women.

Satisfies a Social Science or General Elective.

HIST203M - Topics in History: The Holocaust (3-0-3)

This course offers a wide-ranging examination of the Jewish Holocaust from its roots in the evolution of antisemitism in medieval and modern Europe through its post-World War II legacy. Topics to be covered include the origins of modern antisemitism, escalation of Jewish persecution in Nazi-controlled Europe, Nazi efforts to exterminate the Jews, other victims of the Holocaust, resistance, rescuers, and women and the Holocaust. Emphasis will be placed on the examination and discussion of primary sources.

Satisfies a Social Science or General Elective.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: A History of Race in America, The 1619 Project (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

The 1619 Project sponsored by The New York Times and the Pulitzer Foundation is described by its developers as follows.

“The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to re-frame the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative” (NYT 19).

This course will examine the 1619 Project as a view of American History in a range of perspectives rather than unilaterally where we often declare which perspective is or is not true. It provides an opportunity to critically think, discuss, research, argue, and write about current issues. We will seek answers in history, literature, music, poetry, art, social media, and journalism from the 17th century to the present. The course will focus on critical reading and application of the past to better understand our present and prepare for an ever-changing future.

We will look for answers in history, literature, music, poetry, art, social media, and journalism from the 17th century to the present, while suspending judgement in favor of understanding based in knowledge.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Superheroes, A Modern Mythology (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

This course will explore the origins of superheroes in comic books and examine how the superhero has escaped the confines of a trivialized medium to represent the principles of American culture. We will also look at how superheroes reflect older mythologies and also respond to the needs and interests of modern society. We will consider not only printed comics but also new expressions of the characters in other areas, such as television, film, and digital media.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Critical Thinking (in a Distracted World) (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

This course presents a skill-based approach to critical thinking and attention management as a way to explore and evaluate ideas in the digital era of high-speed information, hyper-connection, and mass distraction. Students will be grounded in critical thinking's basic formative skills of distinguishing fact and opinion, making inferences, detecting biases, and reasoning inductively and deductively, while simultaneously developing the observation, mindfulness, and attention skills necessary to counterbalance the current effects of omnipresent digital stimuli.

This course infuses the core course content with the writings of such Stoic philosophers as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius who remind us that we can only control our personal responses to external events outside of our control. Awareness of this concept will help students develop greater confidence in their ability to make rational choices and proper decisions. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: The Self, the Other and the Arts (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

The purpose of this course is to explore our humanness through a study of artists and their art. We’ll look at painters, like the self-confident Frida Kahlo and the self-sabotaging Jackson Pollock. We’ll read poets like Allen Ginsberg who expressed himself fearlessly, breaking new ground. We’ll read short stories by authors like James Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, Kate Chopin, and others, who grappled with themes of identity, race, religion, class, and gender. We’ll even dabble in some music and film. By the end of the course, each student will have compiled a “Gallery” of their own favorite works, reflecting upon their personal growth in understanding of themselves and others through the arts.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: History of Television (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

This course provides a historical overview of television from its inception to the present day. Emphasis is placed on television as both cultural artifact and institution This course will examine this medium through a Humanities lens, exploring the impact it’s had on our understanding of people and the diverse human story. Students will also develop the technical vocabulary needed to interpret, analyze, and appreciate television. The course will analyze creative elements such as narrative, characterization, casting, directing, and design. Television’s technical elements (the “making” of good television including writing, rehearsing, production--with a special eye on pandemic production) will be considered as well.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Friendship (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

What makes a good friend? What makes a best friend? Did you know that friendship is one of the most important human relationships we have, but we don’t talk about it as much as we do romance or family? Why is that? This class endeavors to tackle it all, from choosing your family to knowing when to walk away from toxic relationships. What does it mean to be a friend?

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the role of friendship in our everyday lives. We will examine the role of friendship through multiple lenses and discuss topics like what factors determine a friendship, when it is appropriate to end a friendship, why do people drift from each other, why do people ghost each other, gender dynamics in friendship, chosen family systems, and more. We will discover these core inquiries about “friendship” through literature and philosophy.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Narratives of Nurses and Healers (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

This course challenges students to consider how the narrative form (story) intersects with healthcare, specifically the nursing profession and patient care, and how these narratives shape our perceptions. Through this exploration, students examine the use of literature, film, creative non-fiction, and autoethnography in shaping the role, relationship, and experience of both caregiver and patient. Students will engage with research and scholarship and study story composition through their own personal construction of narratives.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Writers in Community (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM. (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

Writing can so often feel like a solitary activity—picture the stereotype of the Great Author, holed up in a garret, pounding away through the one-digit hours on a manual typewriter occasionally pausing to replenish the coffee pot relentlessly sputtering on the counter. We all know that isn’t so—that while writers depend on solitude to get their work done, most also crave and seek out the company of other writers and artists, whether in the form of feedback or commiseration or extra Ramen. And then there’s that larger world out there of people who might not label themselves “writers” or “artists,” but who themselves are carrying stories and experiences, perceptions and emotions, that might only need the right circumstances to coax them out into the world.

This class is about taking writing out of the classroom, kicking the Great Author out of the garret, and into the world, by exploring the many ways that literature of all shapes, sizes, and forms can be used to enrich the lives of individuals and of communities. When she was a Visiting Writer here a few years ago, Valeria Luiselli noted that she was interested in the concept of porousness, the ways in which the membranes and barriers that seem to separate categories of being—inside and outside, theater and life, work and play—can become fluid, and we can pass from one to the other seamlessly. In this course, we’ll be tapping into the power of porousness, asking what happens to reading and writing when they’re brought into the world. How can oral and written language, in the form of storytelling, poetry, theater, be transformative? And in turn, as we shift the contexts in which we think about and share writing, how does that transform our understanding of stories, poems, plays? What can we bring to our own writing based on what we experience?

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: American Gangsters (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM.

Gangsters came into the American consciousness in the early twentieth century and are part of American folklore. Power was essential to the American Gangster. Power could influence government overreach (prohibition), poverty resulting from the Great Depression, the fear of loss (illness and disease), and annihilation. The Great War was over, but its memory remained. Stories of Gangsters filled newspapers, radio, and created some of the most iconic films of the 20th Century. Gangster stories glorified clever, strong, men and women who used a strict hierarchical organization to retain power. They ruled as “families.” Gangsters were exciting, frightening, and human and they gave Americans some sense of hope, a controlled fantasy. This course will cover the real-life, fictional, and cinematic gangsters through film, novels, television, and pieces of nonfiction (The Godfather, Christ in Concrete, The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Pulp Fiction, The Sopranos, and more). We will consider the evolution of the gangster and their place in our American future.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: American Protest (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM. (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

This course challenges students to consider the larger implications and purposes AND the more nuanced implications and purposes, of protest throughout American history. The course’s focus will concern—though will not be limited to—finding identity, empathy, and reason in our culture. Our exploration of these concepts will involve studying specific protests, the cultures and countercultures surrounding them, and the ways in which art, media, and philosophy grew and developed from these moments in history. Ultimately, students will engage in this same creation of art-as-response-to-issue. Students will develop a semester-long multi-genre project born from the inspired past and geared toward affecting our future. Protest movements include, but are not limited to the Salem Witch Trials, Stonewall Riots, Occupation of Alcatraz, and Animal Liberation Front.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Building Literary Community (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM. (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

Spring 2023 Focus: So often, writing can feel like a solitary activity—picture the stereotype of the Great Author, holed up in a garret, pounding away through the night on a manual typewriter (or nowadays a sticker-plastered Macbook), occasionally pausing to replenish the coffee pot. Yet while writers depend on solitude to get their work done, most also crave and seek out the company of other writers and artists, whether in the form of feedback or commiseration or extra Ramen. And then there’s that larger world out there of people who might not label themselves “writers” or “artists,” but who themselves are carrying stories and experiences, perceptions and emotions, awaiting only an opportunity to coax them out into the world.

This class is about taking writing out of the classroom and into the world by exploring the many ways that literature of all shapes, sizes, and forms can be used to enrich the lives of individuals and of communities. Writer Valeria Luiselli speaks of the concept of porousness, the ways in which the membranes and barriers that seem to separate categories of being—inside and outside, work and play, the individual and cultural—can become fluid, so we can pass from one to the other seamlessly. In this course, we’ll tap into the power of porousness. How can oral and written language, in the form of storytelling, poetry, and theater, have an impact on the larger world? In turn, how might engaging with community transform our understanding of stories, poems, plays?

In addition to individual projects, the class will focus collaboratively on the Fall 2023 revival of One Book One Manchester, a city-wide reading program that stimulates conversation and hosts events around books and reading. Students will play a vital role in the brainstorming and planning process, including designing a brochure, doing community outreach to increase participation, and exploring creative ways to make the program as dynamic and inclusive as possible.

HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Foreign Language Films (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM. (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

There has been lively and necessary debate within the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences about the Foreign Language Film category. It is a conversation about language, culture, and how art can both celebrate and exclude. This course will allow the films to power the dialogue, using the Foreign Language Film category as the template for analyzing story, culture, and this essential new debate about what is “international” filmmaking and why it may be central to social justice conversations domestically.

POLS215M - Topics in Political Science: Social Justice Movements (3-0-3)

This course examines current and past national and international social justice movements of race, ethnicity, gender, and other issues of marginalized groups of people in the United States and globally. Applying principles of political science (description, evaluation, analysis, etc.), students will develop an understanding of various social justice movements, their dynamics, and the outcomes they produce.

Satisfies a Social Science or General Elective.

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