Check out these upcoming arts/writing-related courses available in Winter 2021

JSIS 486E: Pandemics in Comparative Perspective

5 Credits | SLN: 16014 | Celia Lowe

This class will use scholarship, film, a wayang puppet script, and literature to explore the present SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the context of historical pandemics and outbreaks in Southeast Asia. Drawing on comparisons with H5N1 Avian Influenza and the first SARS outbreak in the 2000s (among others), we will look at outbreak narratives, popular reactions, and government responses to public health crises within and across the region broadly construed.

The class will meet asynchronously with an optional discussion session on Mondays, 2:30 – 4:20PM. For more information, please email

L ARCH 353: Modern History of Landscape Architecture

MWF 1130–1250 | Maria Taylor
5 credits, VLPA/I&S, Optional Writing (SLN 16157)
Honors section (contact Nick Dreher, for add code)

The words “emergence” and “emergency” stem from the same root, as do ecology and economy. In this time of intersecting climate, social and economic crises, this course will explore the modern history of gardens, designed landscapes, and other forms of intentional interventions in human and material relations with land and place. In covering the period from the late 18th century to the present, we will look critically at the historical development of landscape architecture as a profession and its entanglements with industrialization, urbanization, colonialism and social inequality.

History in this framing is more than the study of precedents; it is the study of causes, contexts, and alternatives. What will emerge from this present moment depends on what we choose to celebrate, critique or continue from the past.. Topics covered will include historical landscapes of industrial and food production, political power and resistance, domesticity and domination, community and conflict, art and infrastructure. Class time will be split between brief lecture, small group activities, and student discussion. Taught  synchronously with some flexibility.


CHID 250 G: “Writing in Public in Turbulent Times”

SLN: 22158            MW 10:20 – 12:20              Anne Dwyer          I&S, W

Description: The aim of this course is two-fold. First, this course will develop your abilities to creatively and effectively adopt and adapt a range of public-facing genres, from social media to Op-Eds to podcasts. In other words, this class focuses on developing strategies for writing for multiple audiences to advance a variety of purposes. Second, this course explores the specificity of the public sphere in the current moment, i.e., in turbulent times. To write effectively in this moment, we will interrogate the theoretical concept of the public sphere as well as situate and historicize contemporary public discourse and debates. The ultimate aim? To write our way to social change.


CHID 480 C: “The New Poetics of Race”

SLN: 12460            TuTh 12:30-2:20  Caroline Simpson I&S, VLPA

Description: In the last few years we’ve witnessed the emergence of a number of poets of color concerned with re-posing the question of race in American culture, including Solmaz Sharif, Ocean Vuong, and Layli Long Soldier among others. Their vibrant reclamation of that too often lost classical symbiosis between poetry (or the lyric) and protest has re-set the stakes of American poetry. Our focus will be two-fold. First, we will try to on figure out just how they do what they do. How does a poem come to mean this rather than that to us? What turns of language, address, tone, example, description, and page setting create their particular worlds of desire, lament, and outrage? Second, we will try to locate or situate our poems, when possible, in relationship to other expressive conventions, be they poetic or musical or merely, loosely linguistic. Students need not have any experience reading poetry but should come with a deep curiosity to learn about what’s happening on the poetry ‘scene’ that has so many of us taking note.


CHID 495 A: “The Lyric Essay”

SLN: 21888            TuTh 2:30-4:20                    Caroline Simpson I&S, W, VLPA

Description: This course will focus on the so-called “lyric essay,” an experimental writing practice that mixes a number of forms, from autobiographical, theoretical or academic, fictional or poetic, and even visual expression. We will sample both the variety of lyric essays out there, as well as the variety of often strongly held opinions about the meaning or significance of the lyric essay. Students will be encouraged to develop and experiment with their own lyric forms, both as critics of the essays we will read and as writers of their own essays. Class will, thus, be split between group discussion of influential lyric essays and the discussion and work-shopping of our own lyric essays.

By Eli Heller (He/Him)
Eli Heller (He/Him) Career Coach Eli Heller (He/Him)