ICSM 10500- ITHACA HONORS SEMINAR: The Cruelty and Salvation of School: The Campus Novel (HOLMES, CHRIS)
CRN 21819 | MW 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM and F 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM.
Open to all honors students.
There is nothing more consistent in the lives of American adolescents than school. Very often our earliest memories are of classroom spaces and the teachers and classmates that make up our social lives outside of the home. Middle School and High School, for some, are the lowest rungs of Dante’s inferno, an endless series of embarrassments, and social and academic failures. By contrast, the transition from high school to college can feel ecstatic, like the birth of one’s true self after a long hibernation. Or it might feel excluding, lonely, or fearful. But why do we attach such strong feelings to these bureaucratic systems? (There is a reason that so many fantasy novels are set on recognizable campuses) The campus novel, usually set in high schools and colleges where everyone lives together, dramatizes precisely these powerful feelings.
Our class will read (and watch) some of the most famous takes on the campus novel, including those that explore academic success and failure, extraordinary and despicable professors, class and disadvantage, love and friendship, race and gender, magic and the occult, and the obsessive desire for knowledge, all set on campuses in the US, UK, Japan, Chile, and other imagined worlds. Because this is a first-year seminar, we will use the occasion of your first semester on campus to think about the expectations, possibilities, and realities of a college community. Creative assignments will include the opportunity to write or film your own campus narrative.
Texts and Movies/TV may include:
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Normal People, Sally Rooney
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
Real Life, Brandon Taylor
The Magicians, Lev Grossman
HNRS 11100- ITHACA COLLEGE HONORS SEMINAR: Wonder Women: Feminist History and Feminist Icons (KITTREDGE, KATHARINE)
CRN 21694 | TR 1:10 PM – 2:25 PM and W 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM.
This class looks at the way that women have challenged the dominant images of what women are (and what they could be) in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. We will be looking at political documents, theoretical works, and examples drawn from popular culture including comics, films and TV shows. The texts we look at include Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, The Vagina Monologues, Thelma and Louise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ms. Marvel. Classes will be discussion-based. Students will be required to submit weekly reflections in addition to writing formal papers.
HNRS 11800-ITHACA COLLEGE HONORS SEMINAR: Fantasy, Fandom and Fans (WARBURTON, JAIME)
CRN 21696 | MWF 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM and W 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM.
In this class, we’ll explore and blog the texts that surround us, inspire us, and invite us to imagine our world more fully, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Star Trek; cultural markers that develop around love of sports and music; the cultural hierarchy of fandom based on religion, sports, and sci-fi/fantasy; technological, fiscal, and legal concerns; elements of participatory culture, specifically fan fiction; and the impact of fan-based communities, both online and IRL (in real life). Students will be expected to engage in analysis of such texts in a scholarly fashion led by Henry Jenkins’ definition of the “aca/fan,” a “hybrid creature which is part fan and part academic.” We’ll emphasize written forays into fandom along with writing in response to “original” texts as we explore what drives us to imagine ourselves in universes/lives other than our own, and define the ways fandom binds together disparate parts of our lives. Research projects can also include created fan film/art/writing. This course is available only to those students accepted onto the Honors Program. This course fulfills the ICC ‘Academic Writing’ competency requirement.