Course description:

A recent Davidson College graduate largely avoided talking about a childhood friend for his first few years at Davidson because of shame. That childhood friend was given a 15-year-prison sentence around the time that student was being admitted to Davidson. But when he finally found the courage to tell the story through an independent project, it changed him, his friend, and those who didn't know much about the criminal justice system. And it led to his friend's release 12 years early. In this course, we will find the courage and develop the skills to tell the stories of the ignored and forgotten in your life, those you don't know well, and those you should know.


Special Note 1: This class involves detailed discussions of sensitive topics such as sexual assault allegations and how they are treated by the news media. We can make arrangements for anyone feeling triggered, but dealing properly and ethically with such issues is growing in importance in today’s media climate.


Special Note 2: This class will be primarily in-person. But given the unpredictable nature of covid, I will offer a virtual component to this course when necessary. If you have any special requests to ensure you have the optimal experience, please make me aware of those ASAP, including if you need any particular accommodations to account for disabilities and other differences. Also, if you run into trouble at any point during the semester, you need to reach out to me ASAP. The longer you wait, the fewer tools will be at my disposable to make adjustments. It’s better to make me aware of struggles or concerns “too” early rather than late.


Special Note 3: Your Moodle reflections should be between 500-600 words. Each assignment is designed for you to demonstrate that you completed and absorbed the weekly mandatory readings and viewings.


Special Note 4: Also, as far as class participation expectations: I need to hear your voice. That’s a requirement. I am well aware that some personalities find it easier to speak openly than others, which is why I provide multiple ways to participate in class discussions and presentations. However, your silence would make robust discussion impossible; and this is a discussion-heavy course. If you have any concerns, please bring them to me ASAP, either in-person in my office, via email, text or phone, and we will work out a feasible plan. I know how challenging verbalizing thoughts can be. I’ve spoken with a severe stutter for most of my life, and still struggle with it. I have to make accommodations for myself to deal with that reality – but remaining silent is not an option in my role as your professor even on the difficult days. If I can deal with a lifelong stutter, we can find a way to deal with whatever struggles/fears you have. To that end, I expect you to voluntarily speak up but I will also sometimes cold-call students, which is why the weekly readings/viewers should be done before class.