The Humanities Department offers students several different majors and minors in English , Foreign Languages and Philosophy, as well as minors in Film Studies , Latin American Studies , and Creative Writing .
We also work closely with interdisciplinary programs such as Women's and Gender Studies , Ethnic Studies , Gay Studies , and the International Education program, and of course we offer the most-taught course in higher education, College Writing. We want to make sure every student at UW-Platteville has the tools to improve his or her writing. Every year, members of our composition program publish the best examples of college writing in Stylus, and that anthology becomes a required textbook for the next year's students.
Our English Program offers majors in English Education , Professional Writing , and Literature. Students can participate in our Visiting Writers Reading Series , our Student Reading Series and Creative Writing Festival, as well as observe and student teach in local schools. Many complete professional writing internships.
We offer undergraduate and graduate courses in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language ( TESOL ).
The Foreign Language Program offers majors in German and Spanish and minors in Spanish , German and French , as well as introductory classes in Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese. These programs can include participation in study abroad programs that enable students to travel to places like Spain, Costa Rica, France, Germany, China and Japan while earning college credits.
Elementary language courses also meet the foreign language competency requirement . Students who come in with intermediate level of language proficiency may want to check about receiving retroactive credit for that language ability. Such students are often much closer to earning a minor than they realize! Like the English Education major and TESOL minor, the Spanish and German majors and minors and the French minor can be part of a Department of Public Instruction (DPI) approved teaching major or minor for shose who want to teach in secondary schools.
The Philosophy Program also offers a major and a minor. Studying philosophy provides students with an excellent foundation for graduate studies in law, theology, teaching, business and more.
Most of our sophomore-level and above courses in English, Spanish, German, French and Philosophy also meet the General Education Humanities Requirement , and others also meet general education requirements in Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, or International Education.
Welcome to Chatter Box! Chatter Box is a Q & A column to get to know the students and faculty within each branch of the Humanities department. If you have any burning questions that you’d like to ask your fellow students or faculty members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and you just might get your answer! You can find this column posted on www.uwplatt.edu/humanities and www.facebook.com/UWPlatteville.English
This week's interview comes from English lecturer April Feiden from Cuba City, Wisconsin!
Have you published anything? If so, what is it about?
I’ve authored technical reports and instruction manuals for past employers that are still in use today. I’ve edited over 100 professional and postgraduate academic textbooks and journal articles as well as two undergraduate and graduate catalogs.
What did you do post-graduation?
I became a freelance editor and writer, developed conferences and workshops to help other professionals pursue professional development opportunities. I also initiated and managed an internship program for professional writing majors, taught college introductory writing courses, conducted Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research projects in my writing courses, wrote grants, completed two practicums (one in ESL and the other in adult basic education), and pursued a doctorate degree.
Which class is your favorite to teach and why?
College Writing II because it was my first exposure as an undergraduate to research as a worthy pursuit in English studies, and I find no greater joy than teaching students to suspend their judgments until they’ve gathered enough credible evidence to support their claims. I’m a proponent of long-term thinking, and because of my research into the development of the teenage brain, I know that most of my students have not thought long-term. It’s fascinating to watch students make discoveries in their abilities to think long-term.
If you could create any type of humanities-driven class to take what would it be and why?
I would create a class for the study of stereotypes because they are part of human nature thus pervasive in all thinking, but they can be harmful to those who stereotype and to those who are stereotyped. Becoming aware of how we respond to our stereotypical thinking is essential to becoming a better thinker, writer, and person. I’ve used stereotypes as the theme in my Composition I courses for the past six years, so I have developed a thorough understanding of how they work.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Kenneth Burke because he exhausted the subject of human potential and gave me a solid background for understanding the rhetorical nature of civilization. My other favorites are Alfie Kohn, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Smiley, Pat Conroy, Jim Harrison, Toni Morrison, Deborah Blum, Roald Dahl, Jack London, Jon Krakauer, Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, Alice Walker, and others.