Portland Community College

Courses Taught

English 250, Introduction to Folklore and Mythology, develops a cross-cultural perspective on myth and folklore from around the world. This course introduces various ways of interpreting and experiencing myth and folklore as texts with oral origins. Students discuss how a diverse range of specific myths function within the cultures that produce them and explore how the collection, transcription, and interpretation of myth reflects a process of social struggle and historical patterns of domination.

English 104, Introduction to Literature (Fiction), focuses on various forms of fictional prose in English (mainly North America, UK, and Ireland), increases understanding of the conventions of fiction and various forms of storytelling, and encourages exploration of diverse human experiences. Students engage, through the text and critical responses, with unfamiliar and diverse cultures, experiences, and points of view. The aim of this course is to evaluate various interpretations of a literary work and its validity through reading, writing, and discussion in individual and group responses with support and evidence.

Writing 122, English Composition (online and in the classroom), continues the focus of WR 121 on academic writing as a means of enquiry with an added emphasis on persuasion and argument supported by outside research. Students use critical reading, discussion and the writing process to explore ideas, develop cultural awareness, and formulate original positions. This course emphasizes the development of writing and critical thinking through logical reasoning, rhetorical control, independent research, and cultural literacy.

Writing 122, Popular Culture Theme: Through a variety of readings, films, television, mixed media, discussions, lectures, and writing activities, students learn about and respond in writing, discussion, and visual presentations to current cultural themes that include rhetoric in visual culture, composition in electronic media, and the aesthetics of fashion.

Writing 121, English Composition (online and in the classroom), focuses on academic writing as a means of enquiry. This course explores critical reading, discussion, and the writing process to search ideas, develop cultural awareness, and formulate positions. Students examine how a variety of cultural texts communicate meaning, while also writing for a variety of clearly defined purposes, audiences, and contexts, and locating, evaluating and using information effectively and ethically to develop an informed position.

Writing 121, Environmental Writing Theme: Through a variety of readings, documentary films, discussions, lectures, and writing activities, students learn about and respond in writing, discussion, and visual presentations to current debates about the environment. Students specifically engage with contemporary discourses on global climate change, sustainability, environmental activism, and social movements.

Writing 121, Visual Culture and Media Theme: This section of WR 121 focuses on images in society through traditional and mixed media, such as film, television, documentary, photography, painting, and social media. This course develops a greater awareness of media literacy by examining how images are used for aesthetic appreciation, entertainment, news, and/or propaganda. Students learn how to communicate through various forms of visual media in the context of culture and society in the twenty-first century.

Writing 121, International Culture Theme: Through a variety of readings, documentary films, discussions, lectures, and writing activities, students learn about how to think critically of global societies in a comparative context. Students learn how one’s own society fits in the context of others, explore the influence of global forces, integrate knowledge about other cultures into a coherent and inclusive worldview, and analyze individual and cultural differences. Students are required to attend two international cultural events in the Portland community during the course of the term.

New Course Development Projects

WR 121 and 122 Online Distance Education (Blackboard and D2L systems) – Awarded funding to develop course curriculum for online teaching in the Department of English, Rock Creek, at Portland Community College.

WR 121 Internationalization of English Composition – Awarded a grant by the Office of International Education at Portland Community College to pilot curriculum development in composition courses that integrated international and interdisciplinary themes.