Creative Writing / Literature / Cultural Studies

Spring 2016

Advanced Creative Writing
This offering is a continuation of Creative Writing. We will be writing each week with practice in a number of narrative styles. This class offers the student the freedom to select for themselves what type of writing and subject matter they would like to concentrate on. Time will be spent in class obtaining feedback from other writers and to discuss what parts of themselves comes forward with the writings they create. Dutton

Art and the First Amendment

Description coming soon. Pekarske

Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina – “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This literary masterpiece by Leo Tolstoy abounds with marriages, from the deeply flawed to the ideal, and it is against these complex unions that Tolstoy places Anna’s passionate liaison with the dashing Count Vronsky. But is there a price that comes with great love and passion? The flawless magic of Tolstoy’s style weaves 141 characters through 811 pages to create a piece of art that you will carry with you the rest of your life. There is a $5.00 fee to offset the price of the book, which of course is yours to keep. Pekarske.

Beginning Creative Writing

This is an offering in which we discover, analyze, and apply the methods and forms used in various forms of fiction, poetry, and dramatic writing. We emphasize experimentation and practice, taking our cues from published writers, poets, and playwrights. Creative writing does not only provide us with an opportunity to express ourselves, but also allows us to focus on word choice, diction, form, editing, idea generations, and other skills useful in non-fiction writing. Dutton

Conspiracy Theories
This course will explore conspiracy theories throughout history. We will explore subjects from aliens to music and pop culture to 9/11. You will be challenged to be constantly questioning the "truth". You will hear many sides to many stories and have to discover for yourself what you believe really happened. You will be researching, reading, viewing, and writing about conspiracy theories. You will also partake in class discussions and complete assignments that exercise your creativity, thinking skills, presentation skills, and collaboration skills. Peckham

Creative Coaching

Open to any student that would like to provoke and inspire their creativity. You will be coached through various exercises that will allow you to learn how to spark your individual creativity. The lab will enhance not only your artistic endeavors but your ability to problem solve through any situation by keeping a flexible mind and attitude. We will use a variety of methods to facilitate the creative process that will include class discussions, journaling, visual arts, and group projects. Williamson

Into to Philosophy: East Meets West and the Cultural Impact Upon the Arts
How do people in different cultures view the world (philosophy)? And, how do those views shape the arts in different areas of the world? Better yet what happens when these different artistic expressions interact? Let’s explore some things like: why do many of Picasso's works resemble West African art; Why does George Harrison play the Indian sitar on Norwegian Wood; how did Muslim art influence the Italian Renaissance (Michelangelo/Leonardo), why does Manga/anime connect with so many young Americans -these are just a few of the things this class will explore. Morrissey

Interpersonal Relationships I & II

“Know Thyself”. Students will follow the Socratic idea that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Most (or all) of us carry thoughts and feelings that seem to block our best efforts at having quality relationships and achieving our goals. The good news is that some of these blocks can be lessened or removed. Often times however we need the help of peers and a strong willingness on our part to change, or to examine ourselves. Through the support of peers, the use of diaries and journals, self-disclosure exercises and just plain talk, we will attempt to deal with some of these personal blocks to our success. This includes blocks to expression of our art. Class size limited to 15. Dutton

Mindfulness for All Artists
Learn techniques that help us become more focused and calm. Develop the habits of listening, noticing, and accepting. Learn to use art making as a way to inner peace. Each student will keep a journal of writings and drawings that evolve from our mindfulness exercises. Dane


One would think that an art form simply called "a play" would be by its very definition a delightfully joyous and creative experience; this class will keep the promise of that definition. After creating a safe and supportive environment, we will explore the playwright's thematic motivations, create characters and the dialogue that will enliven them, and then collaboratively work-shop and refine your piece before presenting it to an appropriate audience. It will be great fun! Pekarske

Spoken Word/Poetry Slam

We will delve into the world of poetry that is meant to be spoken aloud. Students will learn about the history of this tradition, compose their own spoken word poems and get comfortable with performing their work in front of an audience. We will watch clips from great spoken word artists and organize our own spoken word event or poetry slam. Class limit: 15 Mason

The Art of Watching Paint Dry
Calling all "thinking artists". This is a class that will deal with art in a philosophical sense. We will be taking on politics and current events, science (particularly physics and Quantum Mechanics), philosophy, history, sociology, paleontology/archeology and more. We will be examining the connections between these areas and art. The class will involve lecture, and energetic discussion on topics and viewpoints that may not be mainstream. Juniors and Seniors Dutton

Speech and Forensics

Forensics is defined as the ability to present yourself and to win over an audience even when they don't know you or care about you. In this class, we will develop several speech and performance venues in order to gain knowledge about what it takes to achieve success. Gargo

Unexpected Artist!
A course for students to discover art in unexpected places and discuss what art is and can be! During the course of the semester, we will explore various working artists here in the U.S. and participate in the “assignment” solicited from them that any person can complete. This won’t necessarily be art as you know it – for example, you might be asked to find the quietest place within walking distance and take a photo/video or you might create art representing something that you know you will never see in your lifetime. Students will complete one art assignment and reflection per week, with class periods dedicated to the exploration and discussion of student work. ALL students are welcome in this class (no visual art/photography/dance/music/film background required). McClellan

Who Am I?
A philosophical, metaphysical, genealogical, cultural, and artistic investigation of self. Going deeper than the ubiquitous “selfie”, we will explore the idea and meaning of self through discussion, research, practice, and the creation of five unique works from five different art fields. Open minds and hearts required. Dane

Writing Classic Characters
We will look to the literary origins of some of our most revered characters - Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Alice, Shrek, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Pippi Longstocking, Frankenstein - and learn from the masters as we practice writing our own characters. Dane