Ready for Re-Entry
Ready for Re-Entry Curricular Community
Following the success of Pandemic Pandemonium and the Inclusion Initiative with events and programming, the College of Humanities and the Arts has instituted student curricular engagement with current issues as an annual initiative of H&A in Action with awards for best student creations selected by a committee. The broad goals of the H&A student initiatives are:
- to offer the opportunity for students to explore a common experience (e.g., COVID-19)
in an academic setting;
to reinforce in students the value of the arts, humanities, critical thinking, reflection, and expression in the face of a crisis, all essential tools for life, through course materials and assignments that explore various current themes;
- to create an intellectual, artistic, and creative community among our students;
- to provide a platform for showcasing to the SJSU community and beyond student creations that result from signature assignments;
- to provide students with an opportunity for professionalization in presenting their work to audiences beyond their professor and class; and,
- to showcase the pedagogical innovations by faculty in leading their students’ work.
Two-and-a-half years ago we were propelled into a sphere none of us had much experience with. A pandemic was unprecedented in our lifetime and only relegated to the books of history. In our social interactions, we learned to negotiate the virtual world and, two-and-a-half years later, we’re re-entering the physical, gravity-defined world. How have we changed? What did we learn? Are we ready to step back into the familiar world?
The pandemic experience touched all aspects of our lives and those of our students and it’s time once again to take advantage of these experiences to learn, to understand, and to move forward empowered. As in the past, we’re continuing our Curriculum Community and we now extend a call to faculty to design assignments that will address once again the current challenge of building back the emotional, rational, and social “bone” that our students may have lost during the seeming weightlessness of the pandemic years. Here are some questions that come to mind that address the personal and the social:
- How can we re-imagine the pandemic? Are there historical parallels that our students could explore? Such as comparisons with previous epidemics or pandemics and how it changed society, and was recorded in art, literature, or in philosophical reflections?
- What did the pandemic expose about our society that we couldn’t see without this lens?
- What did we learn about communicating about danger, especially invisible danger such as a virus, and how can we prepare for future dangers?
- How do we allow our students to process the experience they have just been through? How has it reconfigured their relationships with their family or their friends?
- What did we learn from the “great resignation” in the midst of the pandemic and how can we help our students understand their unique skills and talents as humanities and arts thinkers and practitioners in finding a path for a place in the workforce?
Please enjoy the winning student submissions: