Past HP Core Courses

Fall 2015 English Offerings                 


ENGL 1101 HP1                Builders of the Future                 Gabriel Lovatt, PhD

In the midst of the late-nineteenth-century Technological Revolution, many of the conversations about technology and society that we associate with contemporary, digital age discussions began to emerge in their nascent form. This 1101 multimodal composition course will examine late-nineteenth-century and modernist political, scientific, and cultural theories about the future. How do late-Victorian concerns about vivisection augur our contemporary anxieties about genetic experimentation? Does Futurism's veneration of the machine anticipate our current obsession with technology and its social possibilities? We'll study texts ranging from the 1880s to the 1940s, in forms such as political pamphlets, artistic manifestos, architectural designs, and videos. Among the texts we will read are H.G. Wells’s “The Limits of Individual Plasticity” (1895), Henri Gaudier-Brzeska's treatise on the hygienic properties of modern industrial warfare in “Vortex (Written from the Trenches)” (1915), Antonio Sant'Elia's “Futurist Architecture” (1914), and Dziga Vertov's manifesto on the mechanical spectator of the film camera in “The Birth of Kino-Eye” (1924). Our class projects, like our reading practices, will engage a multimodal (“WOVEN”) perspective.


ENGL 1101 HP2                 Watch the Music: Reading Music Videos                 Phoebe Bronstein, PhD

In this course we will explore the rise, fall, and rise again of music videos beginning with the launch of MTV in 1981. As we hone our communication and critical thinking through Georgia Tech’s WOVEN method (written, oral, visual, electronic, nonverbal), we will explore the intersections of technology, media, and music. We will examine music videos as texts, building close reading skills and vocabulary to address the aesthetics and politics of music video production within American culture. The course begins by introducing a formal vocabulary and ways of reading visual texts; we then move into a case study of a genre of music videos, addressing issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Finally, we will end by thinking about media production itself as you produce a documentary or music video remix about a topic of your choosing (as it relates to the class). Ultimately, the various modes of media production and consumption that we examine will provide ideas, models, and (hopefully) inspiration as you conceive of and craft your own multimodal projects.


ENGL 1102 HP1                 Pride and Prejudice(s)                 Caitlin Kelly, PhD

This course will make a semester-long study of one of the most famous and beloved novels in the English language: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). Although initially the novel was only mildly successful, it eventually became one of the most popular and adapted literary texts of all time (just Google it!). While most of the adaptations and spin-offs are books and films, there are also board games, computer games, card games, make-your-own story books, fanfiction, a tv miniseries, a web series, a baby book (!)... and the list goes on. We will study several of the adaptations in class together but students will also have an opportunity to explore one on their own. Readings we study together will likely include Marvel’s graphic novel adaptation, the Emmy-winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a recent continuation entitled Death Comes to Pemberley, and Twilight, which was inspired by Austen’s novel. Together students will create a public-facing website dedicated to Pride and Prejudice and individual assignments (such as podcasts, videos, essays, and reviews) that will provide material for that site. In the course of the project, we will consider such issues as narrative and genre, literariness and canonicity, gender and economics, fandom and pop culture, and historical accuracy and timelessness.


ENGL 1102 HP2                #Medieval                 Valerie Johnson, PhD

Poor plumbing is medieval; ISIS is medieval; slavery is medieval; Shakespeare is medieval. For modern popular media, “medieval” is a negative, a shorthand that evokes the primitive, the brutal, the inhumane, the archaic. None of these descriptions are accurate, yet the adjective “medieval” has become a misapplication with force and meaning. “Medieval” becomes whatever we want it to mean.  This course will examine what it means to be medieval in our modern world by examining how the term is used as an adjective or a concept. Medieval has become a hashtag, and we will question whether accuracy, relevance, passion, or deliberation matter when something is tagged as #medieval. Can something or someone be #medieval and also be positive? In this course students will read and research genuinely medieval texts as well as texts of medievalism to develop a community understanding of what medieval means by considering audiences which embrace or reject these meanings. The class will trace the meaning of the term and observe its evolution from descriptive to prescriptive, and seek to unlock new meanings for the word. Through the synthesis of multimodal communication, we will think critically about the standard modes of communication, and seek to understand the impact of our language upon others through writing, speaking, visual design, electronic communication, and non-verbal language cues.

ENGL 1102 HP3                 “You Talkin’ to Me?”: The New Hollywood and American Culture                 Clint Stivers, PhD

The main objectives of this class are to develop your use and understanding of WOVEN (Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal) communication and rhetorical principles. In the class, we will learn how WOVEN modalities work together and complement your communicative goals in a variety of situations. We will meet the challenge of these objectives by exploring the New Hollywood. What is the New Hollywood? Is it the independent cinema of self-conscious auteurs or last summer’s high-priced, corporate blockbuster (with a free movie cup at Taco Bell when you purchase a Nachos Bell Grande)? Is it innovative narrative and stylistic departures from Classical Hollywood Cinema or pyrotechnics, pastiche, and CGI special effects? Is it the counter-cultural revolution and the social discontent of the late 60s/early 70s or a conservative revolt promoting a return to the values of the 1950s?  In 1102, we will attempt to answer these questions by exploring the contemporary era (1967 to the present) of American movies known as the New Hollywood from three main perspectives: film narrative and style, industry, and socio-historical context.


ENGL 1102 HP4                  Shakespeare Perspectives                 Sarah Higinbotham

Many of Shakespeare’s plays explore concerns about “faking it”: the anxious feeling people have about the authenticity of their social interactions. This course will examine three of Shakespeare’s plays (a comedy, a tragedy, and a history) through the lenses of authenticity and identity. Students will learn to formulate and defend their points of view via written essays, oral presentations, visual analysis, and through electronic and nonverbal communication. We will engage with Shakespeare through new media (data-mining and info-graphics) as well as through an aesthetic approach (films, book art, and palimpsests).