From Banned Books to Urban Planning to Russian Literature

At APH, we are always striving to expand the horizons of our students with new and interesting academic opportunities.  The second semester is seeing important growth in elective courses which diversify and expand the classroom experience at APH.  These courses offer new ways for our students to think and grow and truly show the depth of expertise in a variety of fields that our faculty brings to the community.  These courses are sure to bring all sorts of new ideas to your dinner table!

In the Humanities, students are examining what lies beneath the impulse to censor material in a free society in the Banned Books class, reading such “objectionable” material as The Outsiders and The Handmaid’s Tale.  Speaking of community norms, the Cultural Psychology class explores the value systems and social structures that influence individuals and groups across cultures, looking deeply into contemporary events and ethical dilemmas across the globe.  One particular culture is under close examination in the new Introduction to Russian History and Language, which not only exposes the students to the language but will explore Russian literature and cultural activities as well.  The Mythology of Greece and Rome course takes a close look at this unique and influential world, its traditions and its stories, and the ways in which the ancients viewed the world and themselves.  The American Dream and the organization of the nation post-WWII is the topic of Introduction to Urban Planning, which includes the race, class and gender expectations that make up towns and cities across the country and in our region.

There are new electives in the Visual and Performing Arts as well.  Students will learn to view and think critically across the ages in Art History, using their knowledge of religion, history, politics, and literature as they learn the artistic history of our world, from the Paleolithic to the contemporary.  Gender and the musical form is the focus of the new Women in Music course, where students will participate in listening and creating music while considering the important roles women have played in that world.  Drama is also a touchstone in the new course offerings:  Play Production gives the students opportunities to act as writers, actors, producers and more as they develop an original play from the ground up and perform it for the community at the end of the semester.  Shakespeare for Modern Actors bridges the gap between today and the Elizabethan world, with students becoming “versed” (get it?) in the language and style of the Bard while bringing his work to the modern world.

We are excited with all these new course offerings because of the opportunities they offer to our students to explore the world in unique and specialized ways.  We are so proud of our accomplished faculty and the breadth of experience and skills they bring to our learning community.  There are plenty of new things “under the sun” here at APH!