A series of course websites facilitated student written reflections on topics in the news..
The poem “TOTEM”, by André Vallias, served as an initial guide to the course. Each student chose one of the names of the indigenous people cited in the poem to research and write about it. The result of this research were contributed to the “TOTEM BLOG”, a collection of texts produced by each of the students about their people, as well as through the tags on the home page.
This Writing Seminar explored the achievements — and limits — of social movements and ideas opposed to the status quo. Students analyzed Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech about the meaning of Independence Day, examined historical, architectural, and financial perspectives on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969 and conducted their own research projects investigating an act, movement, or theory of dissent of their own choosing.
In June and July 2017, students traveled to Athens and the island of Lesbos, notebooks and cameras in hand, to serve as eyewitnesses at a pivotal moment in world affairs. Their challenging assignment: Produce a compelling and rigorous first rough draft of history.