Franciscan Values & Tradition 100:008 (PDF Version) MC 448
Shaking Words: Examining Franciscan Virtues MWF 12:10–1 p.m.
through Young Adult Literature
Grant T. Smith, Ph.D.
Office: MC 533
Office Hours: T Th 1–3 p.m., MWF 2–3 p.m.
S Y L L A B U S
- Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo
- Nation by Terry Pratchett
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork
- In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
In this seminar on Franciscan Values and Traditions, we will examine five Franciscan virtues through the lens of contemporary Young Adult Literature and the narratives of Saint Francis. I will pair the Franciscan narratives and Young Adult Literature with five Franciscan values. The award-winning books and the St. Francis narratives address the questions, challenges, and truths embedded in Viterbo University’s goal to teach hospitality, integrity, contemplation, stewardship, and service.
Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes
- The students will engage in critical thinking when they explicate or “close read” literary texts; when they identify formal elements such as point of view, literary language, symbolism, imagery; when they consider texts and authors in relation to historical, cultural, ideological, and theoretical contexts; when they compare what they are reading with what they have read previously; when they relate what they are reading to the wider world and to universal issues of human life.
- The students will communicate in class and in assigned writing assignments their interpretations, insights, analyses, and evaluations of the assigned literature. The students will compose original and valid written arguments, support them with sufficient evidence, organize them to convince a specific audience, and use stylistically and grammatically appropriate language to convey those ideas.
- The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their understanding of the elements of different genres of literature and how those elements function to produce meanings. The students will evaluate the lasting quality of literature from the formal and contextual elements embedded in the literature.
- The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their responses to the ethical questions and dilemmas posed in the assigned readings. Students will demonstrate the responsibility of becoming a member of a learning community by engaging constructively in class activities. Students will compare, contrast and consider applications of Franciscan core values, Viterbo core values and personal core values.
- The students will read various texts by diverse authors. The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their understanding of life values represented in different texts in relation to their own. Individual projects are designed to give the students an opportunity to move outside of their own culture and to study and interact with a new culture.
In this seminar we shall ask the following questions:
- How do I contribute to others’ care?
- How can I establish and maintain an authentic self?
- How do I recognize and emulate ethical leadership?
- How can I learn from and contribute to diverse communities?
- How can I recognize goodness?
Students who have three or fewer absences during the semester will receive 100 points. Students who have four to six absences will receive 60 points. Any student who has more than six absences will be asked to withdraw from the course.
Students will be allowed to revise the midterm formal essay.
Course Work Requirements:
- Semi-weekly journal responses to readings, discussions, activities
- Two formal essays (midterm and final)
- Class Participation and Attendance
- The students’ comprehension of the texts we read through their participation in class and their journal responses.
- The students’ writing communication skills will be evaluated through their journal responses and their formal essays. Rubrics will be provided as guides for appropriate journal responses and formal essays.
- The students’ class participation will be evaluated through their oral presentations at the end of the semester. A rubric will be provided as a guide for an appropriate presentation.
Attendance and Participation: 100 points
Journal responses: 100 points
Midterm essay: 100 points
Final essay: 100 points
Presentation: 100 points
Students with Disabilities
It is the policy of Viterbo University to comply with the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and regulations issued there in to the extent applicable to Viterbo University.
Any student who has a documented, diagnosed disability and requires specific accommodations should:
- Contact and meet with Jane Eddy, ADA Coordinator, Murphy Center 332, or call 608-796-3194
- Request a copy of the Viterbo University guidelines applying to non-discrimination on the basis of disability and the application form.
- Complete the appropriate application for accommodations.
The learning center provides services to students who have indicated that they have a disability. Special arrangements or accommodations are only provided to those students who have documentation on file that describes and certifies the disability and indicates services needed.
Weeks One and Two: August 30, September 6
(Feast Day of St. Rose of Viterbo, September 2, Dinner at Dr. Smith’s home, September 11)
Introduction: Defining Terms
Meeting St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Rose of Viterbo
Critical Thinking Exercises
Weeks Three and Four: September 13, 20
Unit One: Hospitality—welcoming everyone we encounter as an honored guest
The Book Thief, “Meeting the Leper,” “Of Brothers,” “Of Intimacy,” “Of Brotherly Love,” in Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, 12, 29, 30–31, 41, 68–70, “Hospitality in the Franciscan Tradition: A Distinctive Ethical Vision and Practice.”
What does it mean to be a part of a relationship? What is my role in a friendship, in a family, in a class, in a university, in a neighborhood, in a religion?
Mark Zusak (author) http://www.randomhouse.com/features/markuszusak/author.htmlhttp://www.randomhouse.com/features/markuszusak/author.html
United States Holocaust Museum http://www.ushmm.org/
Nazi Propaganda http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm
Mein Kampf http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/
Guest Speaker: Rick Kyte, Ph. D., September 20
Weeks Five and Six: September 27, October 4 (Feast Day of St. Francis, October 4)
Unit Two: Integrity—striving for honesty in everything we say and do
How do I create and demonstrate trust and respect for myself and for others?
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork
“Losing a Father” and “Wolf of Gubbio” in Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo 17–18, 51–54
Weeks Seven and Eight: October 11, 18 (Mitch Albom, October 12; Mid-semester break, October 22; Hiking Hixon Forest, October 16; Tour of Maria Angelorum Chapel, October 13)
Unit Three: Contemplation—reflecting upon the presence of God in our lives and work
What is my relationship with God? How does my perception of God define my “self”?
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
“The Cave,” “Eucharist,” Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo 8, 79
Weeks Nine and Ten: October 25, November 1 (Andre Cirino, November 4)
Unit Four: Stewardship—practicing responsible use of all resources in our trust
What do I learn about myself and others as I move from one community to another? How do I serve other communities?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
“Of Larks and Sparrows,” “Signatures in the Air” and “Lady Poverty” in Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo 45, 54, 10
Weeks Eleven and Twelve: November 8, 15
Unit Five: Service—working for the common good in the spirit of humility and joy
What are my responsibilities in a world community?
Nation by Terry Pratchett
“Francis’ Mystical Marriage,” “The Crucifix Speaks,” “Of Citizens and Beggars,” “Of Monastery Builders” in Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo 25, 15, 67, 69
Weeks Thirteen and Fourteen: November 22, 29 (Thanksgiving, November 24–26)
Week Fifteen: December 6
Selected Poetry by Walt Whitman
Student Presentations of Final Papers
Thursday, December 16, 3–5 p.m., MC 448