Thursday, November 21, 2013

English Classes Take Learning Outside the Classroom

Dr. Christina Francis' English 288 – Feminist Reading of Culture traveled to New York City on September 18th to visit the New York Public Library exhibit entitled “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter” as part of their exploration of fairy tales and gender representation this semester. 
Students on the steps of the New York Public Library,
courtesy of Dr. Francis

Student particularly enjoyed learning about banned children’s books and children’s literature from other cultures, and they also attended a performance of the newly adapted Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway, which offered a Cinderella more in control of her own glass slipper. The trip was sponsored by a College of Liberal Arts Curriculum Enhancement Grant and the English Department.

Students in Dr. Francis' English 341 – Medieval Literature traveled to the PA Renaissance Faire from October 11 - 13 in order to experience some approximation of the material culture and activities associated with the Middle Ages. Students have been studying the original stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by writers such as Chretien de Troyes and Sir Thomas Malory.  

courtesy of Dr. Francis
At the Faire, students witnessed a game of human chess--a board game invented during the Middle Ages--listened to talks on archery, sword-making, glassblowing, and falconry and watched several sessions of tournament and combat jousting, a form of military training common in the medieval period. Medieval and Renaissance torture devices were on prominent display during this Halloween season.

Students standing with a replica guillotine,
courtesy of Dr. Francis

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