Core Texts

Students read a bit of everything in the Valpo Core, including classic and contemporary literature, film, memoir, stories from the Bible and other religious traditions, philosophical works, historical documents, works of oral history, essays and letters. It won’t be a single textbook, that’s for sure.

 


FALL 2014


 



Origins Unit

 

Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B”

Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Film: The Joy Luck Club (1993; directed by Wayne Wang)

Genesis, chapters 1-4

Phyllis Trible. “Eve and Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread”

Benjamin Franklin, “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America”

“Corn Mother” (Penobscot story of origins)

“Old Man Coyote Makes the World” (Crow story of origins)

Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”

Mary Szybist, poems from Incarnadine

 


      

Education Unit

 

Film: Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination (2008; directed by Chad Heeter)

David F. Labaree, selection from Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling

Fareed Zakaria, Commencement Keynote Address, Sarah Lawrence College, 2014

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself

Plato, “Allegory of the Cave” (from Republic, Book VII)

Paulo Freire, selection from Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Adrienne Rich, “Claiming an Education”

 


                

Love Unit

 

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Stephanie Coontz, selections from Marriage, A History

The Book of Ruth

Euripides, Alcestis (adapted by Ted Hughes)

Selection from Martin Luther King, Jr., “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence” (from Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story)

Song of Songs

Selections from the poetry of Rumi

Film: Philadelphia (1993; directed by Jonathan Demme)

Mary Szybist, poems from Incarnadine

 



SPRING 2014




 

Leadership and Service Unit

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail” 

Sophocles, Antigone, trans. Richard Braun 

Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House, (excerpts)

William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (excerpts) 

Film: Invictus (2009, dir. Clint Eastwood) 

Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains (selections)

 



                   

Work and Vocation Unit

 

Frederick Buechner, “Vocation”

Will Campbell, “Vocation as Grace”

“The Wal-Mart Greeter” from Bowe, Bowe, and Streeter, eds., Gig: Americans Talk about Their Jobs

Studs Terkel, “Who Built the Pyramids, from Working

Karl Marx, “Reflections of a Young Man on the Choice of a Profession”

Karl Marx, “Estranged Labor” from Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844

Karlfried Froehlich, “Luther on Vocation”

Film: Billy Elliot (2000, dir. Stephen Daldry)

Bowe, Bowe, and Streeter, eds., Gig: Americans Talk about Their Jobs (selections)

 


 

Life and Death Unit

 

The Gospel According to Luke

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking (selections)

Film: Wit (2001, dir. Mike Nichols)

In-class screening of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture