• Questions? Email the class:, or come to Dr. Churchill’s office hours: Mon 2-4 pm, Thu 9:30-11 am, or by appt (CH 3288)
  • Items in green are recommended but optional.

Wed, Jan 18    Introductions
  • Assignment: About Me post. 250 words (max) + 1 image. Qs: Who are you? Why do you do what you do? What is the engine that keeps you up late at night or gets you going in the morning? Where is your happy place? What stands between you and your ultimate dream?

Thu, Jan 19   Meet the Artist
  • Common Hour: Q & A with Alison Bechdel (900 Room) – invitation only for classes who are reading her work, so be there!
  • Reynolds Lecture, 7 pm: “Watch out for Alison Bechdel!” (DFPH, tickets free but required)

Fri, Jan 20    WordPress Workshop
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Ch.1)
  • Check your email (including junk) for invitation to join WordPress site.
  • About Me image & text due in class
  • WordPress demo: teach a classmate how to post
  • Assignment: Tracing Project
  • About Me post due by 5 pm, published on course website (category = about me).


Unit 1: Family & Community

Mon, Jan 23
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Chs. 2-4)
  • Scott McCloud, from Understanding Comics (PDF)
  • Qs: What story do the words tell? What story do the images tell? Do they tell the same story? How does Bechdel use the gutter? How do you create closure as you read?
  • Tracings due in class

Tue, Jan 24 – Create Your Domain
  • Common Hour: Domain setup & WordPress training (CH 1003)

Wed, Jan 25
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Chs. 5-7)
  • Qs: Whom do you identify with, why, and how? How does the story draw you in? What are you allowed to see and from what point of view? What can’t you see?
  • Conversation Posts due by midnight: Madeline, Margaret
  • Comments on About Me posts due before class

Thu, Jan 26 – Create Your Domain
  • Common Hour: Domain setup & WordPress training (CH 1003)

Fri, Jan 27
  • Student Run discussion: Helen, Jasmine
  • Tracing Project post due by class, including a flat, legible, well-cropped image of your tracing (category = tracing).

Mon, Jan 30    Community Constitution

Unit 2: Dystopian Community

Wed, Feb 1
  • Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, Part I: The Tributes, 1-130
  • Qs: Whom do you identify with, why, and how? How does the story draw you in? How does it keep you interested? What are you allowed to see and from what point of view? What can’t you see?
  • Recommended (optional): Explore Hunger Games Wiki (online resource)
  • Comments on Tracing Reflections posts due
  • Conversation Posts due by midnight: Matt, Jon T.
Fri, Feb 3
  • Collins, Hunger Games, Part II: The Games, 133-244.
  • Qs: How do the games affect your sense of affinities and allegiances? How do you react to scenes of violence? When do you feel fear? When do you feel relief, pleasure, or satisfaction?
  • Student Run discussion: Madeline, Jon K.
  • Recommended (optional): Explore Hunger Games Tumblr (online resource)

Mon, Feb 6
  • Collins, Hunger Games, cont.: Part III: The Victor, 247-374.
  • Qs: What kinds of intimacy are established in this section and how? Whom do you trust? Whom do you distrust? What do you want to see happen?

Mon, Feb 6    2017 Conarroe Lecture: Lorrie Moore
  • 8:00 p.m., Duke Family Performance Hall (tickets free but required)

Wed, Feb 8
  • Film discussion: The Hunger Games (2007, watch via SWANK)
  • Qs: How does the film change your POV? With whom do you identify ? How does the film affect your relationships to specific characters & communities? What is gained or lost in translation from book to film?
  • Impersonation post due before class (category = impersonation)
  • Conversation Posts due by midnight: Raphael, Jon K.

Thu, Feb 9    Art Opening & Reception: Mella Jaarsma, Aliansyah Caniago, and Restu Ratnaningtyas
  • 7 – 8:30pm, Van Every Gallery

Fri, Feb 10   The Politics of Community
  • Benedict Anderson, “Imagined Communities” (PDF)
  • Student Run discussion: Spencer, Cullen


Unit 3: Media Literacy

Mon, Feb 13    Real Students & Fake News
Wed, Feb 15    Same Story, Different Perspectives
Fri, Feb 17    Getting Up Close & Personal


Unit 4: Poetry & Intimate Community

Mon, Feb 20    You, Me & Democracy: “The United States are essentially the greatest poem.”

Tue, Feb 21    Dr. Annette Debo, “Poets as Lyric Historians: Contemporary African American Poets and History”
  •  4:30 pm, 900 Room

Wed, Feb 22    The Lyric “I” and its Others
Fri, Feb 24    Poetry Café
  • Favorite Poem post due: Browse the Poetry Foundation and Favorite Poem Project websites (and elsewhere) and find a poem that speaks to you. Post the poem to our website and write a 250 word post about what it says, how it says it, and why it speaks to you, making sure to link to the poem and quote a minimum 4-line chunk. Or if you prefer, create a short video or podcast about the poem and post it to our website. Category: favorite poem
  • Student run discussion: Kyla, Will

Mon, Feb 27

Tue, Feb 28, 2017    Shakespeare in Song: Broadus Hamilton, Cynthia Lawing, & Randy Ingram
  • Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall, 7:30 pm

Wed, Mar 1
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen (81-168)
  • Situation videos:
  • In class activity: What do you need to know more about to understand Citizen?
  • Comments on favorite poem posts due
  • Conversation Posts due by midnight: Kyla, Alex D.
Fri, Mar 3 [Student choice]

SPRING BREAK    FRI, Mar 3 (4:30 P.M.) – MON, MAR 13 (8:30 A.M.)

Unit 5: Media Remixing

Mon, Mar 13

Tue, Mar 14    Poetry Reading, R. Windley Hall and Charles E. Lloyd Awards in Writing: Dr. Cynthia Hogue
  • 7 p.m., C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, Alvarez College Union

Wed, Mar 15
Fri, Mar 17

Unit 6: New Media


Sun, Mar 19    “Reading the Verses Backward: Poetry for the Digital Age”: Inaugural Abbott Lecture, Dr. Marjorie Perloff
  •  7 p.m., Lilly Gallery

Mon, Mar 20

Mon, Mar 20 Symposium on Berlin and Cabaret culture in the 1920
  • evening, TBA, 900 Room
Tue, Feb 21    Dr. Annette Debo, “Poets as Lyric Historians: Contemporary African American Poets and History”
  • 4:30 pm, 900 Room

Wed, Mar 22    New Genres: Memes & Tumblrs
Fri, Mar 24    Digital Poems/Games [Student choice – you may elect poems or game]

Mar 24–26: Cabaret, DFPH. Get your ticket. Attendance required.
Mar 24: Opening of Cabaret exhibition (details TBA)

Unit 7: Come to the Cabaret

Mon, Mar 27
  • Christopher Isherwood, “A Berlin Diary,” “Sally Bowles,” “On Reugen Island,” Goodbye to Berlin (3-101)
  • Special Guests: Dr. Scott Denham, Professor of German Studies, & students from Berlin: A Cultural History

Thu, Apr 20    2016-2017 McGee Professor of Writing Sue Miller
  • Carolina Inn, 4:30 p.m.

Wed, Mar 29
  • Christopher Isherwood, “The Nowaks,” “The Landauers,” Goodbye to Berlin (101-184)
  • Special Guest: Dr. Roman Utkin, Assistant Professor of Russian Studies
  • Conversation Posts due by midnight: [extra token opportunity]

Thu, Mar 30, 2017    Poetry Reading, Wayne Miller
  • Carolina Inn, 5 pm

Fri, Mar 31
  • Christopher Isherwood, “A Berlin Diary” Goodbye to Berlin (185-225)
  • Student run discussion: Alex C., Jon K.

Mar 3–Apr 2: last chance to see Cabaret, DFPH. Get your ticket. Attendance required.

Mon, Apr 3
  • Cabaret (musical)
  • Qs: How does the musical adapt Isherwood’s stories to the stage? How does the medium and venue change your relationship to the characters and their stories? How does the experience watching the show in an audience (rather than reading alone) change your sense of community?

Unit 8: TV Cult Communities

Wed, Apr 5     [Student choice – you may elect to substitute a more current series]
  • NBC’s Community: Season 1, Episode 1 (pilot); 1:23 (Modern Warfare)
  • Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell, “Introduction” to How to Watch TV (pdf)
  • Conversation Posts due by midnight: Jasmine, [extra token opportunity]
Thu, Apr 6

Wed, Apr 5    Wearn Lecture: “Where Science Meets Human Rights: Behind the Fight to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground,” Sandra Steingraber
  • Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall, 7pm 
Thu, Apr 6    Poetry Reading, 2017 Vereen Bell Memorial Awards in Creative Writing: Kazim Ali
  • Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Fri, Apr 7

Mon, Apr 10   Writing & Design Workshop
  • from They Say/I Say (pdf)
  • Steve Krug, from (pdf)Don’t Make Me Think
  • Comments/UX feedback on multi-mediation posts due
Wed, Apr 12    Writing & Design Workshop
Fri, Apr 14 – no class meeting
  • Prototype 2 of multi-mediation posts due

EASTER BREAK   FRI, APR 14 (4:30 P.M.)-WED, APR 19 (8:30 A.M.)

Unit 9: Storytelling & Community

Wed, Apr 19    Illustrated Books
  • Melissa Sweet, Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
  • Assignment: Make a book. Whose story will you tell? What text and images will you use?
Fri, Apr 21
  • E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web (1-91)
  • Bookmaking Workshop
  • Special Guest: Britt Stadig

Mon, Apr 24   A book — “The best place to be.”
  • E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web (92-183)
Wed, Apr 26  Make your own Book(let)
  • Bookmaking workshop – bring materials & works-in-progress to class.
Fri, Apr 28
  • Bookmaking workshop – bring prototype 1 to class
  • Prototype 1 due in class

Mon, May 1 – no class meeting
  • work on your books
Wed, May 3
  • Bookmaking workshop – bring prototype 2 to class
  • Prototype 2 due in class
  • [possible stu-ru discussion TBT]
[classes at professor’s option]
Fri, May 5 –
  • Bookmaking workshop – bring prototype 3 to class
  • Prototype 3 due in class
  • Comments on prototype 3 due by midnight

Mon, May 8   Book Party
  • Final book(let) & reflection essay due by class time
  • Course evaluations

May 10 Spring Semester Classes End
May 11 Reading Day
May 17  Last Day of Exam Period