Category Archives: Class

Immersive Opportunities: Gain Hands-On Experience!

Are you wondering how you can get more involved in the department? Do you want to spice up your class schedule next year? Consider one of our many immersive learning classes! Immersive learning courses provide students with hands-on, real-world experience in their field of interest.

Previous courses have included Storytelling and Social Justice, where students published a book of true stories from community members to make poverty in Delaware County more visible, and Creative Writing in the Community, where students taught writing techniques to young writers in Muncie and published a collaborative anthology.

Fall 2018 English Immersive Learning Courses:

ENG 400: Book Arts Collaborative

This community letterpress and book bindery is located in the MadJax Building in downtown Muncie. Students learn to set type and hand-bind books, and each has the opportunity to become a student manager, where they’ll learn the ins and outs of business through collaboration with community partners. To learn more, contact Prof. Rai Peterson at rai@bsu.edu.

ENG 299X: Jacket Copy Creative

Students staff this in-house marketing agency for the English Department. They manage the department’s social media accounts, blog, and annual newsletter. Students learn storytelling strategies through practices in public relations, graphic design, editing, content marketing, and more. To learn more, contact Prof. Cathy Day at cday@bsu.edu.

ENG 489: The Broken Plate

In this class, students learn firsthand the editing and publishing world, as they produce this nationally distributed literary magazine. Students field submissions in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, art, and photography, and the journal is released at the annual In Print Festival of First Books. To learn more, contact Prof. Silas Hansen at schansen@bsu.edu.

ENG 400: Digital Literature Review

Students read deeply in literature, theory, and criticism on a vital topic, then produce a volume of this scholarly journal on that topic. Next year’s topic is Brave New Worlds: Utopias and Dystopias in Literature and Film. To learn more, contact Prof. Vanessa Rapatz at vlrapatz@bsu.edu.

ENG 299X: Rethinking Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Students will focus on rethinking characters in children’s and young adult literature to help shift the stigma associated with being disabled. The course culminates in the production of a comprehensive magazine/website containing resources on literature featuring disabled characters and fiction and non-fiction pieces co-created by students at BSU and the Burris Laboratory School. To learn more, contact Prof. Lyn Jones at ljones2@bsu.edu.

 

Professor Aimee Taylor Unravels Ball State’s History

This semester, #bsuenglish Professor Aimee Taylor developed and organized an alternative final project for her ENG 104 class that focuses on archival research of Ball State’s history. With it, she hopes to immerse her students in scholarly research and unravel ageless inspiration. She will also be attending a conference this May where she plans to shed light on this exemplary work she is witnessing from her first-year students.

Ball State University will soon be preview-full-keepin_it_100.jpgcelebrating its 100th anniversary, but one English class is already getting a head start. They are looking into the archives from 1917, the year the university’s land was purchased, to now. The professor behind this project is Aimee Taylor, who the English Department hired this past fall. She has experience with archival research at her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, and decided to apply this technique to her ENG 104: Composing Research course. For the course’s final project, students must compile research in their selected time period and connect their findings to the central question: “How has Ball State changed?”

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English 444 Blank Book Sale: December 3rd and 5th

Sustainability is an important goal of immersive learning courses.  Preferably, immersive projects can continue to run as part of the standard curriculum.  The department of English has several sustained immersive learning projects, including the Broken Plate literary journal, Creative Writing in the Community, and Book Binding, which is one section of the capstone course, English 444, as taught by Dr. Rai Peterson.

The book binding course teaches students to hand-sew signatures and text blocks and to bind them as books, using a variety of binding methods such as Belgian, case-book, carousel, Coptic, Japanese stab, pamphlet stitch, and others.  Students in the course write researched, original text (which might vary from an in-depth, researched thesis to an introduction followed by a collection of original poetry or prose), and each student brings out a hand-bound edition of four copies of her work.

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Dr. Miranda Nesler on Using Innovative Instruction and Expanding her Classroom to Larger Communities

In the spring of 2012, English Professor Dr. Miranda Nesler instructed a class called “Performing Humanity in the Renaissance” (Eng 363). In creating the course, Dr. Nesler sought to provide  Renaissance content as well as to introduce innovative teaching and learning opportunities. In order to achieve these goals, Dr. Nesler and her class created the blog, Performing Humanity in the Renaissance, which primarily features student posts and which is still active.  In the following guest post, Dr. Nesler writes about her pedagogical experiment.

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Flash Mobs: Eng 104 as a Mini-Immersive Learning Class

Many of Ball State’s unique educational opportunities are based in immersive learning. Unfortunately, many classes are not given this exciting and innovative learning atmosphere for a variety of reasons. English 104 has largely been among these classes until recently when English Professor Adrienne Bliss stumbled upon a radio broadcast which was the inspiration for a whole new immersive learning opportunity. Continue reading see Dr. Bliss’s personal account on this mini-immersive Eng 104 class.

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Book Talking? A New Spin on the Book Report

Today’s guest post, written by current English student Amanda Drozd, discusses a recent class project she created which gave a new spin to the traditional book report: book talking. The project explored the possibilities of incorporating technology into more and more facets of education. See Amanda’s full post below.

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Apply For Dr. Rai Peterson’s Immersive Learning Course at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

 

A new Provost’s Immersive Seminar has just been added to the Spring/Summer schedule: Internship at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

This is a 12-hour course, requiring registration in two 400-level English courses and two 400-level marketing courses; all prerequisites will be waived for students accepted to this seminar. Students will read 13 books by Kurt Vonnegut, a biography of the author, and a collection of critical essays about his work.  Each student will participate in collaboratively writing a 5-year marketing plan for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and will be assigned to one of the following working groups:

  • Archival research and digital humanities database development
  • Film archive and oral history filming project
  • Product design for the KVML gift shop
  • Traveling museum design and fabrication

Students will be mentored by English and marketing faculty as well as Community Partners including the Indianapolis Museum of Art; the Indianapolis Historical Society; WFYI Television; Creative Street Media Group; Floyd and Stanich, Inc.; Eye on Art; Seven Stories Press; Hamilton Exhibits; and Lilly Library, IU, Bloomington.

Sorry but only students who are able to take two English and two marketing courses during both Spring and Summer semesters in 2012 need apply.  Applications are available from Dr. Rai Peterson, Department of English: rai@bsu.edu

Dr. Rai Peterson on the BSU Book-Binders’ Collaborative Event on Oct. 6

Graduates of ENG 444 Manifesto Book Binding are collaborating with faculty and print-making students from the art department to form a book-binders’ collaborative that will show and sell its work at the Downtown Muncie First Thursday Arts Walk on October 6.  Blank journals will retail for $5-60 at Gordy’s Fine Art and Framing.

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Guest Post: Kris Weaver on Creative Writing in the Community

At the beginning of the semester, I seriously considered dropping English 409. I found out it wasn’t like any ordinary English class I’d previously taken; this one would force me to take part in something bigger than myself. It wasn’t something I could just shuffle through, writing along the way, reading the material, and making the grade. For all my doubts in the beginning though, I’m really glad I stuck with it.

What scared me the most was the idea of meeting with a partner on five separate occasions, compiling meeting reports, and eventually writing something about that partner’s life for the rest of the world to read. In addition, I learned that my partner would have a disability. That knowledge left me feeling even more nervous than before: what if I accidentally said something offensive? Were there protocols I would need to know in order to work with this person? I had no idea what to expect.

Meeting my partner for the first time did a lot to put me at ease. Her disability was a mental one. She got confused sometimes, repeated herself a lot, and liked to talk, which ended up being a good thing. I met with her a total of six times and learned a lot about people like her by just being around her. She talked about her family and her friends, about her favorite television shows and books.

The goal of the class is to help give voice (in written form) to those who aren’t usually heard. For some of us in the class, this meant being partnered with kids from a local after-school tutoring center. For the rest of us, it meant pairing up with six women residing in a home in Muncie where they can live in their own social environment away from the normal pressures of the world.

I won’t presume to speak for those who were partnered with the kids at the tutoring center and their experiences. What I do know about my experience is that taking this class was rewarding in more ways than one. Not only does it teach writers to work collaboratively, but it helps the community form bonds that would normally be unattainable. This class accomplished its goal: people’s stories were told, and that’s all anyone really wants out of life—to know that they are heard.