History, English, Fine Arts departments offer creative and contemporary curriculum

History+of+Race%2C+The+Contemporary+Novel%2C+and+Advanced+Printmaking+and+Sculpture+take+a+step+beyond+traditional+textbook+content.
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History, English, Fine Arts departments offer creative and contemporary curriculum

History of Race, The Contemporary Novel, and Advanced Printmaking and Sculpture take a step beyond traditional textbook content.

History of Race, The Contemporary Novel, and Advanced Printmaking and Sculpture take a step beyond traditional textbook content.

Fair Use Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

History of Race, The Contemporary Novel, and Advanced Printmaking and Sculpture take a step beyond traditional textbook content.

Fair Use Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Fair Use Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

History of Race, The Contemporary Novel, and Advanced Printmaking and Sculpture take a step beyond traditional textbook content.

Sophie Jaro, Opinions editor

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Incoming juniors and seniors can look forward to new curriculum offerings in the History, English, and Fine Arts departments: History of Race in History and Social Studies, The Contemporary Novel in English, and Advanced Printmaking and Sculpture in Fine Arts.  

History and Social Studies

The History and Social Studies Department will offer one completely new class next spring–History of Race.

“We felt as a department that [race] was an important theme in the survey history courses for grades 9-11 and would complement the U.S. history survey course in particular,” Upper School History and Social Studies Department Chair Mollie Ward explained about the addition.

“Students can expect to be challenged to think about history and race in complex and powerful ways. We will delve deeply into the historical development of race as a social construction, its codification, and consequences,” Ward said about History of Race.

This deeper analysis of race will be achieved examining examples of racial formation, oppression, and responses by people of color throughout US history.

Students can expect to be challenged to think about history and race in complex and powerful ways. ”

— Upper School History and Social Studies Department Chair Mollie Ward

“Students who might be interested in this class are those looking for a unique challenge as thinkers and people,” Ward said.

History of Race is being offered as not only a reflection on the past, but an explanation of relevant modern issues.  

“The topics covered are historically complex and continue to be relevant in contemporary society. Those interested in conflict, marginalization, identity, resistance, and agency woulo find this class worthwhile,” Ward explained.

The department will also be featuring World Religions during both fall and spring semesters for the first time. The large size of the incoming senior class created the need for an additional class each semester.  

“World Religions is a perennially popular class, and it made sense that we would offer it both semesters to accommodate student interest,” Ward explained.

English

The English department introduces The Contemporary Novel as the only new course in the Upper School English curriculum.

English department chair Andy Hueller described the course as one which “asks students to listen in on and then contribute to critical conversations about today’s literature.”  

[The Contemporary Novel] asks students to listen in on and then contribute to critical conversations about today’s literature ”

— English Department Chair Andy Hueller

As readers, students taking the course can expect to study novels published within the last sixteen years, then commentary on those novels published within the same time frame.

“As writers, students will learn and practice the craft of book review–a formal and yet inviting genre that can be found in places like The New Yorker and Harper’s Monthly,” Hueller said.

The Contemporary Novel updates the English curriculum, enhancing the study of literary canon with the analysis of popular literature.

“The English department want students to recognize that literature isn’t simply something old that you’re forced to study–it’s a type of art and a form of communication that has been for centuries and remains to this day a major recorder and shaper of how we think about ourselves as individuals and as communities,” Hueller explained.

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts department introduced Printmaking, Sculpture, and Introduction to Theater last year. Next year, they will again be offered at the same times–Printmaking in the fall and Sculpture and Intro to Theater in the spring.

“If a student took printmaking or sculpture this year, they will be able to enroll in an advanced class in any of the respective 2-D or 3-D classes,” Fine Arts Department Chair Marty Nash said.

If a student took printmaking or sculpture this year, they will be able to enroll in an advanced class in any of the respective 2-D or 3-D classes ”

— Fine Arts Department Chair Marty Nash said

These classes added both completely new content and brought back old favorites.

“The addition of the theater course is a first, as is our sculpture course. Printmaking has been offered in the past, and its re-appearance is another great addition to our offerings,” Nash explained.

Advanced Printmaking build on the knowledge of stencils, collographs, relief, reduction, transfer printmaking and various mono-print applications that students learned in Beginning Printmaking. Provided this knowledge, students have the opportunity to “a personal means to use this knowledge to create original images,” according to the course description.

Advanced Sculpture extends upon the additive, subtractive, assemblage, and sigh-specific techniques of Beginning Sculpture to enhance understanding of visual expression with the three-dimensional art form. The course can be repeated as many semesters as fit a students academic goals.

Although it was featured in the 2015 spring course selection, many students may not have heard of Introduction to Theater. Using Aristotle as a starting point, this course introduces students to different genres of theatrical arts through mediums of acting technique, directorial theory, and scenic design. Early Western theater sets the stage for understanding more modern acting, directing, and design techniques. The class culminates in a student showcase.

 

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