My Schedule: Fall 2013 Edition

Though it took me a little while to finalize my schedule, I’m happy to report this semester that I’m signed up for an incredible array of classes with some equally incredible professors. I have to say–it’s the quality of teaching at WashU and the mentors I’ve met that have ultimately defined my academic experiences at school, even more so than the awesome classes themselves. On that note, I’m really looking forward to the challenging intellectual experiences my professors are sure to provide me this semester in the following classes:

Introduction to Women and Gender Studies: this interdisciplinary examination of major topics in women’s lives and in the development of feminist theories is a class I’ve been dying to take since I first set foot in WashU. I’m so happy to finally have this class on my registration list!

Creative Nonfiction Writing I: a course designed to introduce students to the fundamental craft elements involved in writing creative nonfiction with attention paid to both literary journalism and personal narrative.

World Literature: This course is an introduction to World Literature in which we will read some of the most influential classics of Western and Eastern traditions. We will study literary texts and films from different parts of the world (Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Latin America) while providing an introduction to the concept and practice of comparative literature across historical periods, cultures, and genres. Some of the texts we will read are Dante, INFERNO; Cervantes, DON QUIXOTE; Stendhal, LOVE; Tanizaki, THE KEY; Borges, LABYRINTHS; Lispector, THE HOUR OF THE STAR; Brathwaite, THE ARRIVANTS; and Al Aswany, THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING. We will also watch Kurosawa’s RASHOMON, Antonioni’s BLOW-UP; and Nolan’s MEMENTO.

French Film Culture: French director Jean-Luc Godard once stated: “I pity the French cinema because it has no money. I pity the American cinema because it has no ideas.” This course offers an overview of French cinema, focusing on the factors that have shaped its narrative and non-narrative styles and genres. As Godard’s provocative remarks suggest, French cinema, a rich source of intellectual and artistic innovation, unfortunately lacks the financial stability of Hollywood, and therefore has a very different history. This course addresses the impact of various cultural, political, technological, industrial, and aesthetic contexts on the major developments in France’s national cinema, including the origins of film (Lumière brothers, Méliès), the early art film (L’assassinat du duc de Guise), serial storytelling in the 1910s (Feuillade), the first avant-garde of the 1920s (Un chien andalou), the push for sonic fidelity during the conversion to sound, the avant-garde publicity films and poetic realism in the 1930s, the centralization of production under the German Occupation, the “new avant-garde” (Bresson) and popular genre filmmaking (the film policier) of the postwar era, the emergence of the ethnographic documentary (Rouch), the rise of the politique des auteurs and the nouvelle vague (Godard, Truffaut), the shifts in filmmaking and criticism during the political climate of May ’68, the new prominence of female directors in the 1970s and 1980s (Varda), the hyper-stylized cinéma du look (Besson), the “nationalist” heritage film of the 1980s and 1990s (Germinal), and the blockbuster martial arts film in the 2000s (Kiss of the Dragon). With one of the most significant national industries in world cinema, France has both led the way with new forms and ideas and grappled with the “artisanal” and unstable nature of its production and Hollywood’s global success.

Introduction to Dance as a Creative Art Form: Through practical work in the studio, students will gain an understanding of the human body as an instrument of expression and of motion as the medium of dance. This class will involve technique, analysis and creative work.

Study Abroad 101: This mandatory course will provide essential general and program-specific pre-departure information for students who have applied to study abroad through the College of Arts and Sciences. It must be taken in the semester immediately prior to study abroad. Students must register for both section 01 and the discussion section that corresponds to the program to which they have applied. Students will attend a maximum of 8 classes throughout the semester, with dates specified on a syllabus to be distributed at the beginning of the course.

Topics in Physical Education: Independent Fitness & Conditioning: Students complete fitness testing at the beginning and end of the semester. Individual workout schedules are followed outside of class time.

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