In this course, modern authors explore issues facing young adults. Students will examine the conventions of contemporary fiction from 2000-present day. This class focuses on reading a selection of texts by a diverse group of cutting-edge writers that appeal to a wide audience. In addition to reading and discussing the texts, students will engage in hands-on creative projects and various reflective writing assignments, which will help them to understand the text more deeply. The class will frequently hold “book club” style discussions, wherein students will elect and evaluate texts considering themes, style, and form.


    Students will examine the conventions of gothic fiction from the late 18th century to the present day and explore the historical evolution and appeal of fear, horror, romance, and death in literature. We will read a wide variety of texts, primarily short stories, from diverse groups of authors to explore how gothic horror has evolved over the past three hundred years. These readings will be supplemented with critical texts that outline the psychological, social, and historical foundations of fear and horror in this genre. The course will focus on analytical and comparative reading and writing skills. Primary authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O’Connor, and Stephen King.


    This course explores American Cinema from the early 1900s to present day. Students will examine the elemental power of film as a literary genre, drawing conclusions about differences in plot, character, setting, theme, and tone. Students will study the four major areas of film: Editing, Sound, Camera-Work, and Mise-en-Scène. Students will discover how the major areas of film create and enhance meaning in the work. Critical viewing, thinking, and reading are integral elements of the course. Dramatic films, documentaries, and social commentaries will be explored as well. The featured films that will be viewed are The Shining, The Green Mile, Slumdog Millionaire, and The Island. All other film viewing will be in the form of short clips.


    In this course, students will discover and examine the philosophical, moral, and ethical underpinnings of various literary works. A wide variety of literature will be considered to identify basic principles of morality and critical thinking about moral judgments. Themes explored include relationships with others and relationships to the world. Why is there evil in the world and who determines what is right from wrong? Are human actions free or pre-destined? How can the study of classical and modern thinking help one achieve his or her goals in life? These are some of the questions the course attempts to seek answers to through the readings of major philosophical texts and through reflective writing.