New courses offered for Spring Semester ‘Star Wars’

Washburn students have many opportunities when they first come to the university. Many of those come from the various general education courses that are offered.

Students do not have to be restricted to the more traditional general education courses, since Washburn is continuously adding unique and interesting courses for students to branch out in.

For students who are a fan of science fiction, this may be a course for them. Roy Sheldon, a professor in the department of English, instructs a course titled Film Appreciation: Science Fiction (EN 190B and EN 399B.)

“Almost any film genre can be used to learn more about film in general,” said Sheldon. “This section of the course uses science fiction film to do so.”

Film Appreciation: Science Fiction is an entry level humanities course with no prerequisites needed. In the course, Sheldon will guide students through the vast and sometimes controversial themes that are seen throughout classic and contemporary science fiction films. These can range from time travel and saving the world, to alien invasions and genetic experiments.

Sheldon said some of the films that will be studied in the course may include “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park,” “Back to the Future,” “The Matrix,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and/or “Terminator 2.”

“A science fiction film or literature course offers differing visions of what screenwriters believe the future may hold in store for humanity,” said Sheldon. “It may expand and challenge one’s horizons of possibility.”

Sheldon’s course will meet for the spring semester on Thursdays, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., in room 260 of Morgan Hall.

For those more interested in the literature side of science fiction, another course is offered in which the films are replaced by books. Science Fiction Literature (EN 177A or EN 393A) is also a general education course that can be taken as a humanities class with no prerequisites or an upper level English student class.

The same thought provoking opportunities will be present in this course as in Film Appreciation, but from a literature perspective. Some of the materials covered will be “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, “Corrupting Dr. Nice” by John Kessel and others. The class will meet for the spring semester at 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in room 259 of Morgan Hall.

In the anthropology department, a course entitled Visual Anthropology (AN 322) offers students a chance to take a dive into cultures from around the world by studying the visual products in each society. This course, taught by Margaret Wood, includes watching films, creative projects and discussion of anthropological matters. This course will be offered in the spring semester on Mondays from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Interim chair of the English department and published author  Thomas Averill team-teaches a course with art instructor Carol Yoho entitled KS Literature: Mapping Kansas (EN 138A) which is also a general education humanities course. This class is taught in a computer lab as opposed to a regular classroom, because the students will be writing web pages on Kansas writers instead of writing papers.

“The course gives an overview of Kansas writers and writing,” said Averill. “We have about six books to read and then we divvy up the writers and books for further study.”

The books that will be covered include poetry, memoir and fiction literature.

“Carol Yoho will help the students to learn basic Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop skills, have their work published on the Internet, and work individually and collaboratively,” said Averill.

The map can be found by searching “Map of Kansas Literature” on any search engine. At least two writers will also be visiting the class during the spring semester. The course will be held in room 108 of Carnegie Hall on Tuesdays from 1 to 3:45 p.m.