GS 554 — Coming of Age in America: Contemporary Issues

Our discussion today began with the following texts: In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason, and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Themes: The lasting and growing impact of war on our youth and their experience. Questions:  How can we foster a meaningful and nuanced understanding of issues related to war without relying on cliches […]

GS 554 — Elaborating on Native American Perspectives

Our class discussion drew on our reading of Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Thomas King’s Truth & Bright Water, and the 1998 film Smoke Signals. Themes: Borders as human constructions. Belonging as something that necessitates that there are those who don’t belong. Varying definitions of success. Questions: How can humor […]

GS 554 — Native American Perspectives: Education for Extinction

The beginning of our examination of indigenous perspectives of education included a discussion of information from the text Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience 1875-1928 by David Wallace Adams. Chris Teuton delivered a myth-challenging “Indians 1491” lecture. Areas of focus included: indigenous population numbers, intertribal trade, disease and its role in […]

GS 554 — Reimagining the Gendered Classics: The Bluest Eye

The following are some highlights from our discussion of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye: Themes: The complexity of the role of black women in art, literature, Civil Rights, and continually evolving hierarchies (both in the family and society). The projection, condemnation, and internalization of anger as a result of feelings of unworthiness. The cyclical nature […]

GS 554 — Reimagining the Gendered Classics: The Catcher in the Rye

Our discussion of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye spawned the following: Themes: The call and answer (or lack of answer) in Holden’s experiences. Holden’s preoccupation with protecting innocence. Authenticity versus phoniness. Grief. The importance of human relationships. The commodification of elements of universal human experience. Desperation. Alienation. Connection. Questions: As children/teenagers form identities, […]

GS 554 — Reimagining the Gendered Classics: Huck Finn

Here is a growing list of themes and questions that have arisen during our discussion of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Themes: The cultural image of the teacher/reformer as a heroic savior figure/miracle worker. Huckleberry Finn’s growth as a result of loving relationships rather than instruction. The role of place in grounding identity […]

GS 554 — Reimagining the Gendered Classics: Little Women

Here is a growing list of themes and questions that have arisen during our discussion of Luisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Themes: The gendered nature of toys and products targeted at children (American Girl dolls, Spiderman vs. Disney princess backpacks, etc.). The limits of subversive elements in literature. Questions: What is the relationship between expectations […]


  There is a mountain next to our hotel.  It is called Meganom.  It has stood there, towering over us as we went about our lessons, watching over us as we made our daily trips to the beach (to do our homework, naturally).  Being CC students, there’s no way we could have let Meganom go […]

Gurzuf, Yalta, Sevastopol and More!

Our last Friday in Crimea, we students of Crimean politics and culture embarked on a four day road trip across the southern coast of the peninsula.  In typical Colorado College fashion, we managed to see a remarkable amount in such a short period of time.  So without further ado, here’s an account of our whirlwind […]

GS 554 — Classrooms in Motion: Hip-Hop Based Education

Our discussion of Marc Lamont Hill’s Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity produced many themes and questions. Here are a few. Feel free to continue discussion by posting comments. Themes: Teachers being afraid. The importance of storytelling in cultivating meaningful relationships. The various levels of resistance (social, institutional, and […]