Through the study of important novels and short fiction as well as feature films, and several shorter videos, students will particularly focus on questions of ethics, hypothesis, and social issues. Main topics will include Scientific Responsibility, the Use of Artificial/Synthetic Intelligence, Dystopian Societies, Cognitive Estrangement, and The Role of Faith in Science/Religion. From "Star Trek" to recent films like "Contact" and "Gattaca," this course explores the enormous impact of this genre on contemporary culture.
THE LITERATURE OF FANTASY AND THE FANTASTIC
Frodo, Draco the Dragon, the gloomy pits of the Underworld, and a pack of very hungry vampires are only a few of the characters and places that we visit in this course. The human need to create what J.R.R. Tolkien calls a "secondary world" into which we enter and explore alternate lives and universes forms the foundation for this examination of fantasy in film, art, music, and literature. Poe’s "Tell-Tale Heart," Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the classic film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" are but three highlights of a class that, in addition to important literary works, also considers recent films like "Stir of Echoes," "28 days later . . .” and "Reign of Fire," as well as the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings phenomena that have become so important to contemporary culture.
ENGLISH 3144: AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY AND CULTURE
This course will focus on the lives and work of approximately 2 dozen African American poets and the culture in which they lived and in which they were immersed.Each class will spotlight a major musical artist, will present a documentary, and will explore the verse of one or two 20th century black poets. The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and the impact of rap artists like 2Pac are explored.
ENGLISH 2033: SURVEY OF BRITISH LITERATURE, PART I
Using five basic texts—Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, Much Ado About Nothing, and Gulliver’s Travels—this course explores the early and late medieval period, the early and late Renaissance, and the Restoration and 18th Centuries. Many important shorter works by a variety of authors are studied along side the principle works to give a fuller sense of each period. The music, art, and social history of each era round out the study as well as a field trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art where students may visualize the aesthetic world of the writers they’re reading.
ENGLISH 2034: SURVEY OF BRITISH LITERATURE, PART II
Beginning with the Romantic Poets, this course examines the principle, often multi-layered themes and concerns found in British culture and literature during the 19th and 20th centuries. Readings will include poetry by giants like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Browning, Yeats, and Auden; a novel by Charles Dickens; a play by Oscar Wilde; non-fiction by Virginia Woolf; and writings by several prominent post-World War II authors, including Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney. Films, music, art, and video documentaries will augment many class sessions.
MYTHS, FAIRYTALES, & LEGENDS
Starting with the ancient myth of Gilgamesh and his adventures with his friend Enkidu and moving down through the centuries towards modern legends like baseball star Mark McGwyer and 70-something astronaut Senator John Glenn with plenty of witches, gods, and elves in between, this elective course proves both an entertaining and enriching exploration of our own day-to-day lives. Since in some way these wonderful tales have formed nearly every aspect of modern culture, we explore literary texts as well as many documentaries and classic films to show the connection between myths, legends, and folktales to everything from modern advertising campaigns to themes on popular TV programs. It’s more than Little Red Riding Hood and it’s the Egyptian Pyramids like you’ve never thought of them before. A field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art will allow students to see the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern artifacts studied in class.
ASPECTS OF 20th CENTURY CANADIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
We will explore our great neighbor to the North through four genres of 20th century Canadian writing: Poetry, Drama, The Short Story, and The Novel. In addition to studying the literature, we will also watch several documentaries about Canada and Canadian life and award-winning feature films, including Jesus de Montreal and Exotica. Readings will include poetry by Leonard Cohen, Al Purdy, Pat Wallace, and Bronwen Wallace; a play by Robertson Davies; short stories by Alice Munro, and novels by contemporary writers like Margaret Atwood and Timothy Findley.
ASC 4126C: AIDS: ITS CONTEXTS AND REPRESENTATIONS
This course follows the history of the AIDS epidemic from its “official” beginnings in the late 1970’s to the present day and explores the worldwide response (or tragic lack of response) to one of the most devastating plagues in human history. Topics include: AIDS on Long Island, AIDS in Africa and Developing Countries, AIDS Drug Cocktails and Other Therapies, AIDS in the Media, and AIDS Education. There will be numerous films and documentaries as well as guest speakers to enhance the course experience.
ENGLISH 2042: SURVEY OF AMERICAN LIT, PART II
Using a unit approach, the course explores masterpieces of American literature and culture. The first segment, on Poetry, examines the work of Whitman and Dickinson, four masters of the 20th century, several women poets, and verse by African-American and other non-white contributors to the American scene. The unit on Short Fiction begins with Mark Twain, continues with such 20th century writers as Jack London and Edith Wharton, moves on to feminist literature, and ends with authors like James Baldwin and Alice Walker. The unit on American Drama focuses on O’Neill, Miller, Williams, and Albee, with the class viewing at least one major filmed version of an American play. Finally, the class will read what many consider to be the quintessential American novel, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In addition to Huck Finn, another important novel will also be examined (Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby). Each unit will be enhanced with music, art, documentaries, and feature films to further study the world into which these American classics were born.
ENGLISH 3105: RENAISSANCE ENGLISH POETRY AND CULTURE
Sir Philip Sidney, the original Renaissance Man; Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen; and John Donne, the Metaphysical Poet par excellence are just three of the many fascinating people we'll cover in this course. And through the study of Renaissance Poetry as well as the period's music and art, we will not only come to know the world of the 15th through 17th centuries better, but also, in turn, come to know ourselves and our own world better. In addition to the study of specific poems, the course will also offer several video documentaries and feature length films to broaden our understanding of English culture. If religion, political intrigue, murder, mayhem, and philosophy are some of your interests, then this is the course for you. A field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art will allow students to explore the artwork of this period.
ENGLISH 3106: 18th CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE
Welcome to the world of powdered wigs and intrigue, political revolution and naughty comedy! This class takes a whirlwind tour of the age, exploring masterpieces like “The Rape of the Lock,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” and “The Beggar’s Opera.” In addition to works of literature, the art, music, and drama of the era are also studied. Feature films, including “Tom Jones,” “Restoration,” and “Clarissa,” are viewed in class for further enrichment, and a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art allows students to see the art, architecture, and interior design of the age first hand.
ENGLISH 3143: AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCES
The subtitle of this course is “From Civil War to Civil Rights.” Through the reading of Black literature dating from the 1840's to the present day and the viewing of video documentaries and films, we will explore the African-American experience from the pre-Civil War period to the post-Civil Rights Movement.Students will explore Black culture and heritage and be invited to see that heritage in relation to their own lives.Feature films, documentaries, and film biographies will be supplemented with a field trip and guest speakers.
ENGLISH 3127: EARLY AMERICAN POETRY
This course explores America’s principle poets from the Colonial Period through the Civil War, starting with Anne Bradstreet and ending with Walt Whitman.The approach is historical, presenting each poet against the social and political milieu in which he or she was writing.The readings will be supplemented with documentaries that will broaden our understanding of our country’s earlier days; these will include “A Mid Wife’s Tale,” “The Pequot Wars,” “The Gold Rush,” and several biographies of key historical figures.We will also explore the traditional art and music of the period.There may be a field trip to The New York Historical Society to study further the history and culture of our region.
ENGLISH 2055: THE ART OF POETRY
Poetry has suddenly become a hot commodity—coffee shop readings, bookstore events, and Poetry Slams are bringing verse back into popularity once again.Explore this phenomenon in-depth through readings, documentaries, and feature films.Everything from traditional poetry and its devices, to Broadway song lyrics, to recent pop movements like hip-hop and rap find their way into the course.You never quite know what wild connections will be made in each session: the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud explored through Leonardo DiCaprio’s film Total Eclipse; a multimedia slide and music presentation while T. S. Eliot himself reads his masterpiece The Wasteland (through the magic of a 1940 BBC radio tape); a documentary on Huntington’s own Walt Whitman; Robert Frost is studied along with music from and about New England. Every class focuses on a particular writer and becomes an adventure into the remarkable world of poetry.Poets included:Renaissance Masters, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Rimbaud, Eliot, Frost, cummings, The Beat poets, Plath.
ENGLISH 2053: THE ART OF THE NOVEL
Curl up with a few good books.This course explores the history of the novel, the principal elements of the novel (plot, character, conflict, setting, theme), techniques of the novel (point of view, style, symbolism, imagery, and irony), and genres of the novel: The Social Novel, including the novel of manners and the chronicle novel; the Psychological Novel; the Education Novel; the Philosophical Novel; the Popular Novel, including Western, Detective, Spy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, and Historical novels; and the Experimental Novel.We will read Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Dickens’ short novel A Christmas Carol, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Woolf’s To The Light House, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a contemporary novel such as Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.We will look at selected portions of other novels and study film adaptations of novels.
ENGLISH 2057: THE ART OF DRAMA
This course follows the path of Western drama from its roots in religious ceremonies in the ancient world to Broadway and the West End today.Students will learn about the origins of theater, plot, characterization, theme, diction, melody, spectacle, and dramatic conventions.Through reading, watching, and attending plays, students will experience the rich development of Western culture across four thousand years.Plays explored include Antigone, A Doll’s House, Angel’s in America, and A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.