With a mission of creating a better understanding of different cultures, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) announces a new course and foreign film series.
Last year, PCCUA was one of 18 community colleges out of 72 applicants from across the U.S. chosen to participate in “Advancing the Humanities: A National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures Project.” The selected teams were charged with the task of developing and implementing new or revised introductory humanities courses, new modules, or programs in one of several disciplines, including literature, history, philosophy, religion, and civic engagement. As part of its effort to enhance cultural and civic understanding in introductory humanities courses, PCCUA has chosen to develop a new literature course that combines film and novels of various genres, which are more relevant to present society, but are representative of many cultures. PCCUA will devise and introduce a Bridging Cultures credit World Literature II course for students, provide a community discussion series using films and guest lecturers from the new college course, and engage its faculty in educational discussions about how to teach the humanities.
The foreign film series for the community and for students will kick off next month on all three campuses. The following movies will be shown at the following times: The Color of Paradise (Iran, 1999, 90 minutes) shown at 5 p.m. Mon, April 1, in the Fine Arts Center-Helena campus, at 7 p.m. Tues, April 2, in the Grand Prairie Center-Stuttgart Campus, and at 7 p.m. Wed., April 3, in the Community Room-DeWitt Campus; Osama (Afghanistan, 2003, 83 minutes) shown at 2 p.m. Sun., April 14, in the Fine Arts Center-Helena, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the Grand Prairie Center-Stuttgart, and at 7 p.m. Wed., April 17 in the Community Room-DeWitt; and A Separation (Iran, 2011, 123 minutes) shown at 2 p.m. Sun., Apr 21, in the Fine Arts Center-Helena, 7 p.m. Tues., April 23, in the Grand Prairie Center-Stuttgart, and 7 p.m. Wed., April 24, in the Community Room-DeWitt. These are all award-winning movies that confront serious humanities issues. In addition to being useful for English classes, they also contain significant and poignantly portrayed sociological, psychological, political, and historical elements. These events are free to the public and part of the community mini-course being offered at PCCUA. All attendees must sign in and will be registered. A discussion session will take place immediately after each film. Additionally, the PCCUA Book Club on the Helena Campus is reading Kite Runner, and the foreign films complement discussions from this work.
In assisting PCCUA with their humanities projects, Bridging Cultures project mentor Kathy Fedorko recently made a site visit to PCCUA. During her visit, Fedorko, professor of English, emeritus, at Middlesex County College in Hopewell, NJ, met with PCCUA team members Dr. Deborah King (Vice Chancellor for Instruction), Matthew Forester (instructor), Dr. Brian Dudak (instructor), and other students and staff members. Fedorko noted that it is a huge honor for PCCUA to have been selected to participate in this two-year project. She said the participants are charged with creating bold, new initiatives to enhance the understanding of different cultures, and these initiatives will be publicized to other community colleges so that they can be replicated.
Page 2 of 2 - “The purpose of the project is to reinforce the importance of the humanities and bringing new cultures to light,” said Fedorko.
King added, “The college community believes understandings about multiculturalism and diversity are important values, and we embrace this within the vision of what we hope our students learn to appreciate and have included it in our published vision statement.”