Course Descriptions Spring 2022

WRC 1104.101 INVESTIGATIONS GLOBAL: The Lives of Animals

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Investigations: Global and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor:  Dr. Michael Dale
  • Time: MW 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm & TR 11:00 am - 1:45 pm

As Martha Nussbaum reminds us, we homo sapiens do not live alone on the planet. We share the world and its resources with a wonderful variety of flora and fauna, including other intelligent and emotional creatures. The nature of communal living requires that we be attentive to the moral questions and issues that relationships between living beings demand. What should be the nature of our human relationships with the non-human animals with which we share this world? Should non-human animals be seen as part of the community of human beings? What, if any, are the moral demands that non-human animals make upon us if they are seen as a part of our community? What does it mean to be a human being in a moral relationship with other living, non-human beings? Drawing upon novels, short stories, essays, and narrative works of non-fiction we will be attentive to and engaged with questions and issues of our humanly intimate and complex relations to, and at times callous disregard for and cruelty towards the lives and deaths of non-human animals.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 1104.410 

WRC 1104.102 INVESTIGATIONS GLOBAL: Great Big Books, Large Family Dramas

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Investigations: Global and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor:  Dr. Clark Maddux
  • Time: TR 11:00 am - 1:45 pm & TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

In this class, we will read 3 works that should be known by every literate person: George Eliot's (Mary Ann Evans's) Middlemarch, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier. Demonstrated knowledge of these is a marker of one's educational attainment, but these books also have something to say to us about the many ways that families can be embroiled in tragedy, farce, and dysfunction, as well as how they can thrive and create loving and nurturing homes. The key to this class, in my mind, is reading and thoughtful conversation. I will ask you as a class to create a contract among yourselves and with me about the ways in which you will primarily demonstrate those aspects of your education. Along the way, we'll develop your research and writing skills, but those are supplements to the work of entering into the imaginative world of these fictional families, each of which is rich with life and longing. Come for the challenge of reading great big books; stay for the stories.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 1104.411

WRC 1104.103 INVESTIGATIONS GLOBAL: AUTOBIOGRAPHY

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Investigations: Global and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor: Professor Joseph Bathanti 
  • Time: TR 11:00 am - 1:45 pm & TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Philippe Lejeune, a contemporary French essayist, defines autobiography as a "retrospective prose narrative produced by a real person concerning [their] own existence, focusing on [their] individual life, in particular on the development of [their] personality." You'll be writing your stories in this class, a class that will remain an ongoing conversation during which we will attempt our own idiosyncratic definitions of autobiography. Autobiography shelters under the umbrella of creative nonfiction (sometimes called the fourth genre). I want to state emphatically that this IS NOT a journalism class. It's a class on reading and writing memoir – a class during which you'll write autobiographical nonfiction (true stories) about your lived life. In many ways, this class is an exercise in memory. What you write about does not have to be something terrifically dramatic or momentous. It can be something very small, but nonetheless significant. We'll read autobiographical essays/memoirs that exemplify the genre, as well as craft essays on autobiography. The class is designed to get students thinking and writing about specific episodes/scenes throughout their lives that in some way exemplify their identities in a particular place and time, and how those experiences have shaped them and travel with them. Students can also expect to showcase their essays, in front of classmates, in the traditional roundtable workshop format.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 1104.412

WRC 1104.104 INVESTIGATIONS GLOBAL: Politics, Gender, and Global Detective Fiction

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Investigations: Global and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor: Dr. Jessica Martell
  • Time: TR 11:00 am - 1:45 pm & TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

This section of WRC 1104 explores the genre of detective fiction and the figure of the detective as it evolves from nineteenth-century male hero to twenty-first century feminist and queer icons. Historically, the detective story has not been taken very seriously by critics and scholars; yet it enjoys massive global popularity and has grown to include spy, crime, and thriller genres in print and visual media around the world.

We will read books and watch shows from around the world that present versions of the most famous of detectives, Sherlock Holmes. By tracing the Holmesian detective figure as it is updated, remixed, and upcycled, we will analyze a critical theme in the literary arts: the conflict between self and society. Holmesian detectives view themselves—or are perceived by others—to live outside of the 'normal' social world that everyone else seems to occupy. When we sympathize with outsiders, we are invited to challenge social norms and investigate the political controversies that arise when norms are questioned. For example, this course will take a deep dive into feminist and queer theories, which question patriarchal and hetero norms, when we study the popularity of women and LGBTQ+ detectives in more recent global series. Sometimes the detective-as-outsider invite our sympathy, and sometimes they don't. But their stories can reveal tragedy, enlightenment, suffering, love, and truths about the world that insiders aren't always able to see.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 1104.413 

WRC 1104.105 INVESTIGATIONS GLOBAL: Contemporary Literature

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Investigations: Global and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor: Dr. Gabriella Friedman 
  • Time: MW 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm & TR 11:00 am - 1:45 pm

In 2021, what conclusions—if any—can we draw about the contours of 21st century literature? What can literature show us about contemporary society? How are readers interacting with texts through social and digital media? Most importantly, what is the point of reading or writing literature in a world beset by social and environmental injustice? This course will cover a variety of genres, mediums, and themes including experimental poetry, climate change fiction/eco-fiction, historical fiction, graphic memoir, speculative fiction, and literary digital media (such as storytelling podcasts, digital flash fiction, and "twitterature"). Students must be prepared to engage explicitly with the connections between literature and contemporary sociopolitical issues, including racial justice, environmentalism, Indigenous struggles for sovereignty, gendered violence, and more. Writers may include Colson Whitehead, Carmen Maria Machado, Tommy Pico, N.K. Jemisin, Richard Powers, and Danez Smith.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 1104.414

WRC 1104.106 INVESTIGATIONS GLOBAL: Mapping Monsters

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Investigations: Global and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor: Dr. Audrey Fessler
  • Time: TR 11:00 am - 01:45 pm & TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

This course will range across many eras and cultures to explore diverse monsters and their psychological and social functions. Andrew J. Hoffman, in his anthology Monsters, posits that "Monsters are not merely entertainment. The study of monsters is the study of what it means to be human in a world that provides much to fear and avoid. Since time immemorial, people have had to deal with fear: fear of the wild, fear of the unknown, even fear of each other. Monsters may be a repository for much that is negative in human experience. In this way, monsters provide us with the opportunity to connect to important issues of society, psychology, science, medicine, art, and religion" (3). Analyses by scholars from many fields—including classical studies, critical studies, cultural anthropology, history, monster theory (yes!), sociology, philosophy, psychology, religion, and urban theory—will inform our responses to primary sources of monster lore. Course work will include weekly reading reflections, frequent quizzes, occasional leadership of portions of class discussion, and two research projects with accompanying research presentations.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 1104.415

WRC 2001.101 28607: DAYS IN THE LIFE

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Gen Ed Second Year Writing
  • Instructor: TBA
  • Time: TR 9:30 am - 10:45 am

WRC 2001.102 28607: DAYS IN THE LIFE

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Gen Ed Second Year Writing
  • Instructor: TBA
  • Time: W 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

WRC 2100.101 THE LIVES OF ANIMALS

  • Gen Ed Attribute: ILE-Human-Animal Bond
  • Instructor: Dr. Michael Dale
  • Time: TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

As Martha Nussbaum reminds us, we homo sapiens do not live alone on the planet. We share the world and its resources with a wonderful variety of flora and fauna, including other intelligent and emotional creatures. The nature of communal living requires that we be attentive to the moral questions and issues that relationships between living beings demands. What should be the nature of our human relationships with the non-human animals with which we share this world? Should non-human animals be seen as part of the community of human beings? What, if any, are the moral demands that non-human animals make upon us if they are seen as a part of our community? What does it mean to be a human being in a moral relationship with other living, non-human beings?

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 2100.410

WRC 2201.101 HEARING VOICES. INQ IN LITERATURE Native American Literature

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Aesthetic-Creat Exp of Culture and Gen Ed Designation-Lit Studies and ILE-Experiencing Inquiry and Honors
  • Instructor: Dr. Gabriella Friedman
  • Time: TR 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

This course offers a survey of Native American literature from pre-1492 to the present. Students will encounter a variety of genres and mediums including oral traditions, fiction, graphic novels, poetry, and digital media. We will ask: How do Indigenous values and knowledge systems endure across centuries? How does literature express Indigenous peoples' unique relationships to their lands? What methods have Native Americans used to resist settler colonial conquest? Writers may include William Apess, Charles Eastman, Zitkala-Ša, Joy Harjo, Leslie Marmon Silko, Tommy Pico, and Blake Hausman.

*Honors students interested in this course should register for WRC 2201.410

WRC 2202.101 WHAT IF? ASKING HIST QUESTIONS

  • Gen Ed Attribute:  Gen Ed Designation-His Studies and Hist & Soc-Culture Social Prac and ILE-Experiencing Inquiry
  • Instructor: Dr. Joseph Gonzalez 
  • Time: MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am

Can you imagine a world without sugar, caffeine, and chocolate? Believe it or not, for most of human history our ancestors lived in a world largely devoid of sweetness and stimulants; only alcohol, in the form of wine, ale, and beer, was present. In this course, we will explore the origins of these so-called "addictive foods" in the spice trade of the Middle Ages and the conquest of the Americas. Along the way, we will discover the ways in which the production of "addictive foods" created our modern global system and changed the lives of individuals around the world, for better and worse. Students will read from a variety of disciplines, while making use of primary sources and applying concepts central to historical thinking. During the term, students will also plan and execute a research project on a topic of interest to them, either individually or collaboratively.

WRC 3000.101 INTERROGATING POPULAR CULTURE

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Gen Ed Designation-Social Sci and Hist & Soc-Culture Social Prac and ILE-Experiencing Inquiry
  • Instructor: Dr. Mark Nunes
  • Time: M 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

WRC 3401.101 MYTH AND MEANING

  • Gen Ed Attribute: Gen Ed Designation-Lit Studies and Hist & Soc-Culture Social Prac and Liberal Studies Experience
  • Instructor: Dr. Laura Ammon
  • Time: MW 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

WRC 3530.101 WATAUGA WRITERS WORKSHOP

  • Instructor: Professor Joseph Bathanti 
  • Time: T 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The precursor for this actual class was launched early in the pandemic, and is also called the Watauga Writers Workshop. In this 3-credit class, however, students will receive grades; and the class will serve as a "kind" of introductory course in creative writing that will focus on poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction (memoir and the personal essay). We'll carefully read and discuss texts that model these genres and spend considerable time examining issues of craft. Students will also showcase their writing, in front of classmates, in the traditional roundtable workshop format; and I'll offer one-on-one tutorials in addition to the group workshops. Each student will design an individual product that will result in a chapbook-length manuscript. We'll conclude the course with a staged reading delivered by members of the class.

*Permission of instructor required. Contact the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies for more details

WRC 4001.101 SEM EXPERIEN INTEGR LEARNING

  • Instructor: Dr. Laura Ammon
  • Time: TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm