Heroines & Heroes

Original Version

Western culture has long reserved a special word for the greatest human achievements: heroic. Heroic tales range from ancient epics to today's movies, sports broadcasts, political campaigns, etc. What do heroic stories tell us about who we are, have been, and aspire to be? Does heroic describe our ultimate potential, or has it lost meaning? This course examines heroines/heroes in wide-ranging works, adopting varied critical approaches to examining their profound influence on how we understand ourselves and our world.


COR 270-01 Heroines & Heroes: Athletes                                                  

Cheryl Casey | M, TH 9:30—10:45 AM

From the fleet-footed runners and champion boxers of Ancient Greece to the star quarterbacks and golden gloves of today's sports-entertainment complex, athletes have captured society's fascination with the seemingly superhuman. This course explores how media and public discourse have constructed the athlete as hero over time, and includes examinations of gender and race as critical aspects of these constructions.

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COR 270-02 Heroines & Heroes: Star Wars                                         

Miriam Horne | T, TH 3:30—4:45 PM

"May the force be with you" as we use a variety of critical lenses to explore Luke Skywalker's transformational journey. Our focus on George Lucas' original trilogy will drive you to identify pieces of your own heroic quest and think about key elements of storytelling.

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COR 270-03 Heroines & Heroes: Star Wars

Miriam Horne | T, TH 2:00—3:15 PM

"May the force be with you" as we use a variety of critical lenses to explore Luke Skywalker's transformational journey. Our focus on George Lucas' original trilogy will drive you to identify pieces of your own heroic quest and think about key elements of storytelling.

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COR 270-04 Heroines & Heroes: The Shadow

Mike Lange | W, F 3:30—4:45 PM

This section uses several different stories by Hans Christian Andersen (author of what you think of as fairy tales, like "The Little Mermaid" and "The Little Match Girl"; stories that you might think are happy, but are really, really not) to explore existential questions of love, death, sex, the afterlife, what it means to be human, and what it means to be heroic. Finishing with an in-depth exploration of Andersen's dark, mystical, and philosophical story, "The Shadow", this class analyzes fundamental questions of human identity.

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COR 270-05 Heroines & Heroes: The Shadow 

Mike Lange | W, F 2:00—3:15 PM

This section uses several different stories by Hans Christian Andersen (author of what you think of as fairy tales, like "The Little Mermaid" and "The Little Match Girl"; stories that you might think are happy, but are really, really not) to explore existential questions of love, death, sex, the afterlife, what it means to be human, and what it means to be heroic. Finishing with an in-depth exploration of Andersen's dark, mystical, and philosophical story, "The Shadow", this class analyzes fundamental questions of human identity.

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COR 270-06 Heroines & Heroes: Nobel Prize Laureates

Rowshan Nemazee | T, F 11:00 AM—12:15 PM

This section will focus on Nobel Prize recipients as our heroines and heroes. Beginning with Alfred Nobel himself, a scientist, inventor, businessman, poet, and playwright, who left the majority of his wealth toward the establishment of a foundation to honor individuals "who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” For over a century, the Nobel Foundation has been recognizing remarkable people and organizations from our global community for "outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace." Our approach will be both interdisciplinary (through the use of diverse critical methodologies) and integrative (by considering the relationships between various markers of identity: race, gender, religion, socio-political constructs, and class).

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COR 270-07 Heroines & Heroes: Nobel Prize Laureates

Rowshan Nemazee | T, TH 12:30—1:45 PM

This section will focus on Nobel Prize recipients as our heroines and heroes. Beginning with Alfred Nobel himself, a scientist, inventor, businessman, poet, and playwright, who left the majority of his wealth toward the establishment of a foundation to honor individuals "who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” For over a century, the Nobel Foundation has been recognizing remarkable people and organizations from our global community for "outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace." Our approach will be both interdisciplinary (through the use of diverse critical methodologies) and integrative (by considering the relationships between various markers of identity: race, gender, religion, socio-political constructs, and class).

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COR 270-08 Heroines & Heroes: Original Version

Kerry Noonan | T, TH 12:30—1:45 PM

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COR 270-09 Heroines & Heroes: Harry Potter (NOT a travel course)

Kerry Noonan | W/F 2:00—3:15 PM

This section focuses on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and other works by J. K. Rowling, as well as the phenomenon of Potter tourism and fan culture), as we examine heroines and heroes in magical tales. We will use various critical approaches in our consideration of the novel and of the profound influence of Harry Potter on how we understand ourselves and our world.

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COR 270-10 Heroines & Heroes: Dostoevsky

Gary Scudder | T, F 8:00—9:15 AM

Much of the last century of popular culture, especially American popular culture, has been dominated by the anti-hero, that protagonist who—on their best days—is deeply flawed, and who might actually only be the hero because there aren't any better options. As our taste in anti-heroes grows darker and more troubled, will we end celebrating the villains? Students in this section will struggle with that question, and also study one of literature's great dark characters: Raskolnikov from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

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COR 270-11 Heroines & Heroes: Dostoevsky

Gary Scudder | T, F 9:30—10:45 AM

Much of the last century of popular culture, especially American popular culture, has been dominated by the anti-hero, that protagonist who—on their best days—is deeply flawed, and who might actually only be the hero because there aren't any better options. As our taste in anti-heroes grows darker and more troubled, will we end celebrating the villains? Students in this section will struggle with that question, and also study one of literature's great dark characters: Raskolnikov from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

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COR 270-12 Heroines & Heroes: Kid Heroes

 Erik Shonstrom | M 12:30—1:45 PM / W 9:30—10:45 AM

Within the massive compendium of heroic myth and literature, there's a vibrant subgenre: heroic tales featuring children. Kids are a different kind of hero, whether it's the plucky Chihiro of Miyazaki's Spirited Away or Piggy from Lord of the Flies. Adult heroes often are fighting to reinforce the dominant paradigm: Beowulf is out to etch his name into history. But children are different—they fight for different reasons. Wolverine and Batman are grumpy old men kvetching about saving the universe. Peter Pan is just out to cause effervescent anarchy, and this class explores why stories about kids shatter traditional expectations of heroism.

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COR 270-13 Heroines & Heroes: Original Version

 Steve Wehmeyer | T, F 9:30—10:45 AM

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COR 270-14 Heroines & Heroes: The F-Word

Katheryn Wright | M 2:00—3:15 PM / W 11:00 AM—12:15 PM

This section of Heroines and Heroes is all about the F-word... a.k.a. feminism. We will dig into key debates in feminist media studies, examining heroic figures in popular culture (movies, television, graphic novels, in the news, etc.) along the way.

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