New Fall 2014 Courses

Prof. Coxe’s new Humanities course, Introduction to World Film, will examine late 20th and early 21st century films from a number of perspectives. Students will look closely at the development of new film techniques and aesthetics and relate the films’ style to their narrative approach in their historical and cultural context. They will also examine the films’ mode of production, projection, and distribution—especially in new digital platforms. There are no prerequisites, and no prior knowledge of film studies is expected.

Prof. Giles is offering MSU’s first Ecocriticism course in the fall titled The American Literary Imagination. This graduate seminar will explore environmental philosophers such as Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, and Aldo Leopold, as well as the fiction of writers as diverse as Leslie Marmon Silko, Don DeLillo, and William Gibson. Students will also discuss how the philosophies of Deep Ecology and Zen Buddhism can open up new ontological approaches to the current environmental crisis.

Prof. Hoffman
new undergraduate course titled Detective Film and Fiction: Old and New will trace the history and themes of American and English detective fiction from the 19th century to present day. Beginning with selections by Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, students will read and view such works as Doylle’s The Hound of the Baskerville’s, Dashell Hammit’s Maltese Falcon, James Patterson’s Kiss the Girls, and Lee Child’s One Shot/Reacher.

Prof. Lodge’s new Humanities course titled Russian Culture will take an interdisciplinary approach to Russia, focusing on the 19th-21st century. In the first half of the course students will read the great writers of the 19th century (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others) and relate their works to the historical and cultural context. In the second half, students will discuss both literature and film of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Prof. Fields is offering a Rhetoric & Composition II course (the “research paper” freshman course) with a special focus on two Young Adult Fantasy titles: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Games by Orson Scott Card. Students will examine a particular motif that stands out to them in one or both of these novels. Secondary sources will also concern these and related fantasy titles. Students may also bring in subsequent titles in The Hunger Games or Ender’s Game series of books.

The Dude abides . . . . And so do his creators, Joel and Ethan Coen. The brothers Coen, in a career dating from 1984, have often managed with wit and insight to bridge what many see as the unbridgeable gap between entertainment and art. Prof. Olson’s Film Narration course will, through film screenings, research, and discussion address the factors that have contributed to the Coens’ success, and we will attempt to tentatively answer the intriguing question: Who are those guys anyway?