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Faculty

Katharine Turok (lecturer)

Katharine Turok
207-288-5015, ext. 5812 | kturok@coa.edu


B.A. Philosophy, Wheaton College
M.A. Comparative Literature, Rutgers University
Course areas: Writing and Composition, World Literature

Courses Taught

HS2038Gender, Politics, and Science in Fairy Tales of the World

Why do fairy tales capture the attention of adults and children all over the world and endure in popular literary and cinematic forms?  What do they reveal to psychologists, biologists, historians, linguists, artists, anthropologists, and educators?  Do they politicize or de-politicize? socialize or subvert?  What is the postfeminist, postmodern response to the Brothers Grimm?  What do fairy tales convey about animal behavior, entomology, and cosmology?  How might the tales shape human limitations, moral values, and aspirations?  This course will explore the story-telling and re-telling of literary, cultural, and scientific stories from a comparative perspective, imagining their interpretations and how they may be re-told with an eye toward new understandings of human interrelationships, of a given sociohistorical moment, the culture of COA, and the larger culture.  Students will read fairy tales, view three films--"The Little Mermaid" (USA), "Chunhyang" (Korea), and "Pan's Labyrinth" (Spain)--and discuss academic pieces by writers such as Cristina Bacchilega, Bruno Bettelheim, Ruth Bottigheimer, Michel Butor, Italo Calvino, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Jack Zipes.  Reflections may include distinctions between fairy tale and myth; recurrent motifs and patterns; the history and variations of individual tales and motifs; social, sexual, moral, scientific and political content, with emphasis on race, gender, and class structure; and contemporary works inspired by traditional tales.  Students will be evaluated on two short papers; one creative project that may be expressed in writing, visual art, music, or dance; and a final assignment that will take the form of a class project.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate.  Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS

HS503Survey of British Literature

Poetry, plays, essays, and fiction by British writers from the medieval period to the early twentieth century will be explored in the context of social, historical, and cultural currents and cross-currents. In addition to examining the lives and works of men and women writers from Chaucer to T.S. Eliot, students will be encouraged to question and analyze writings in relation to nature, science, and philosophy; poetry and painting; exploration, travel, trade, and colonialism; gender, class, and family; slavery and plurality; monarchy and revolution; classic, romantic, and modern theories and forms; and industrialism and alienation. Three papers will be written during the semester, each paper to be followed by a tutorial conference. Writing Focus option. Level: Intermediate. Class limit 15

HS696Troubadours, Nuns, Witches, and Concubines 500 - 1450

This course traces variations in the social, legal, and economic status of women in Asia and Europe from about 500 to 1450. Students will be examining letters, diaries, songs, court documents, poems, essays, and fiction with an eye toward textual analysis and original discourse. Students will also consider such questions as: Why and to what extent did women in some parts of the medieval world-in China until 960; in southern India; in Catalonia, Spain-experience relative freedom? What were women's attitudes toward men, children, religion, love, work, sexuality, religion, magic, and education? How was gender negotiated, with female identity in girlhood, adolescence and adulthood established or modified, within the various sociocultural contexts? What were the achievements and accomplishments of women during the "Middle Ages" whether they managed households; wandered the land as minstrels; or worked at court, in the religious life, in the visual and performing arts, or in medicine? Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, two short papers, and one substantial essay. Level: Intermediate/Advanced

HS749Tutorial: Witches and Witchcraft

Surveying the role and historical development of beliefs, practices, and persecution of witches and witchcraft in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Unites States from medieval to modern eras, this tutorial is an advanced study that will involve extensive reading across cultures and genres. The impact of influences on the West from Africa and the Caribbean will be explored, as will depictions of witches in religious and legal documents, mass media, visual art, popular tales, fiction, and drama. Central questions are: How have attitudes toward and images of witches and magic reflected commonly shared fears, biases, beliefs, and hopes of various cultures? Why did witch hunts and interrogations utilizing torture intensify during various periods? Why were those exhibiting special powers or knowledge--such as healers or "entrancers"-greeted with rage, fear, and severity through the ages? Did different social classes harbor similar or disparate views of witches? In what ways did the public equate "bewitching" with control or usurpation of personal identity and responsibility? This course will meet regularly; students may select two topics for short papers and a third for more intensive treatment as a final project which may be in mixed media. Level: Advanced

HS532Tutorial: Writing Projects

This tutorial enables upper-division students to improve their writing styles using papers they are working on in other courses or writing they are doing as part of their senior project. The tutorial focuses on acquiring a better understanding not only of writing as process but also of syntax. Through exercises, peer review, and conferences, students will learn strategies for making their writing more cohesive and focused. In particular, they will look at the role pace, emphasis, and flow play in enabling them to draft pieces that are both readable and engage the intended audience. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of the Writing Program Director. Class limit: 5. *W*

HS4034World Literature

Using seminal works by Machado de Assis, Luís de Azevedo, and Rabindranath Tagore as a starting point, this course will present non-English twentieth- and twenty-first-century world literature in the context of its relation to cultural, political, and personal identity. One of the main objectives of the course is to provide students with the critical tools necessary for an informed reading and analysis of texts, especially in light of questions of identity formation, an imagined or remembered sense of home and displacement or exile, and cultural conflict in today’s world. Acknowledging and becoming familiar with elements such as genre, period, style, and theme are also goals of the course.

Fiction and nonfiction in translation, with some attention to bilingual and parallel texts, will include short and full-length prose works by writers such as Lu Xun, Naguib Mahfouz, Tadeusz Borowski, Mahasweta Devi, Lydia Chukovskaya, Ingeborg Bachmann, Emile Habibi, Reza Baraheni, Gabriel García Márquez, Nawal el Saadawi, Aimé Césaire, Carlos Fuentes, Christa Wolf, Jaime Manrique, René Alomá, Carme Riera, Alifa Rifaat, Octavio Paz, Abé Kobo, Jack Agüeros, Empar Moliner, Ben-Zion Tomer, Francisco Goldman, Arundhati Roy, Shulamith Hareven, Haruki Murakami, Roya Hakakian, Edwidge Danticat, Pola Oloixarac, Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado, and Susana Chávez-Silverman.  Evaluations will be based on discussion, three short papers, and one interpretive essay.                    

This course may be taken as a writing-focused class. Students who elect this option will have that noted in the first line of the evaluation, and the evaluation will include comments about their writing. The writing-focus option entails one weekly lab, a revision of one of the first two short papers, the choice of either a revision of the third short paper or a new short paper on a different topic, and a preliminary draft of the final essay, along with a conference before or after each revision and the preliminary work for the final essay. Some labs and conferences may be combined.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced.  Prerequisites: none.  Class limit: 15.  Lab fee: none.  Meets the following degree requirements: WFO

HS1014Writing Seminar I: Exposition

This expository writing course, which is limited to second and third-year students, focuses on writing as a process, audience awareness, syntax and analysis.  Through class discussion of readings, students gain an understanding of how others use the various principles of exposition to explain, clarify, and analyze.  By writing several drafts of papers, topics may be chosen by students, students develop prewriting and revision skills.  Through peer review sessions, students apply what they have learned in analyzing the writings of others to the writing of their peers.  The portfolio students turn in at the end of the term should contain several drafts and the final version of two shorter papers, drafts and final copy of a library-based research paper, and an annotated bibliography.  This course meets the first year writing requirement.

Level:  Introductory.  Class limit: 12.  Meets the following requirements: W

HS1043Writing Seminar I: Exposition

Designed to serve the overall academic program, this course focuses on formal writing based on rhetorical principles of exposition and concentrates on the writing process: prewriting, writing, and rewriting.  Assigned readings both illustrate how to use these principles and develop students' analytical skills.  Through a research paper or case study, this course introduces students to library research and documentation of an academic paper.  Each section emphasizes peer review, revision, regular conferences, and some class presentations.  Writing Seminar I is offered with Credit/No Credit grading option only.

Level:  Introductory.  Class limit: 12.  Meets the following degree requirements: W

HS2039Writing Seminar II: Argumentation

A logical sequence to Writing Seminar I, this course emphasizes argument and persuasion.  The assigned readings show students not only how others passionately and creatively argue points but how argument and persuasion are integral to writing effective papers on topics ranging from the need to diversify the student body to protecting Atlantic salmon.  Like Writing Seminar I, this course also requires library research and an understanding of different forms of documentation. Writing Seminar II is offered with Credit/No Credit grading option only.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate.  Prerequisites:  none,  Offered every year.  Class limit: 12.  Meets the following degree requirements: W