Humanities electives offered in the spring

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Deborah Wilbourn, English instructor, teaches Survery of African American Literature in the spring.  (Photo by Allen Brewer)

By Allen Brewer

The Harlem Renaissance resonates smooth jazz as epic poetry, while  slaves tell the story of how they overcame their struggle. Survey of African American Literature is a class that comprises all of these elements and more.

Offered in the spring, students will be able to engage into the untold stories of poets, writers and music that have been overlooked in African American history. The instructor for this class is Deborah Wilbourn, English instructor. Wilbourn states the class will cover a variety of subjects such as the Civil War and Harlem Renaissance.

“I want my students to see the common thread in African American culture that follows through the literature and history of America,” Wilbourn said.

Traditionally, this class has a low enrollment rate, but it is offered as a humanities credit. Wilbourn states that students can learn from this class and for it to be untold would be a waste.

“There are so many people unaware of the effects of African Americans on our culture in literature and poetry,” Wilbourn said. “Everyone regardless of race will benefit from this.”

For students who do not care much for reading, the Film as Literature class will offer students a chance to watch movies for homework. While it may seem like a cake walk, this class will focus on the social messages of films and show their effects on society.

Offered in the spring semester, Film as Literature will be taught by Dale Davis. Films shown in class will vary from classics, westerns, science fiction and horror.

“The class is a way to learn about films and understand their artistic value as well as their historical and cultural significance,” Davis said.

After watching a movie, the class will discuss how techniques such as camera angles, lighting, color, and music add to the film’s message. The class will also study why genre films are more than entertainment and some of the social issues they address.

“We can watch films every day for the entertainment they bring, but those same films can speak to us in important ways about our own hopes and fears in the time we live in,” Davis said.

For students interested in these classes, speak to your adviser about adding them to your schedule. Both classes are humanities electives that will count for three credit hours each.

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