Teacher: Mark Cutler

Course: Spanish 502: The Making of a Latino City

Essential Question: How does a city founded during the Industrial Revolution and known early on as “The Immigrant City” become a predominantly Latino and Hispanic city?

Students created critical portrayals of and reflections on local history in the post-WWII era through addressing the following questions: What are the forces that created the Merrimack Valley and have attracted humans to this area over millennia? How do shifting demographics globally, nationally, and regionally impact the culture of a place? What are the impacts of shifting demographics on our local society and its people? What are the roles and the responsibilities of the insider and the outsider in interpreting local history? Why Lawrence?

Teacher: Corrie Martin

Course: English 300: Why Literature?

Essential Question: What place do themes and depictions of the climate crisis have in literary fiction and art today? 

Responding to the claim by novelist Amitav Ghosh that the contemporary literary world has largely failed to represent or grapple with the climate crisis, we engaged with the poets included in the anthology All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, in an attempt to understand the power and limits of literature and art to incite imaginative solutions and shape radical new understandings of our situation. Students will present original “Situation Videos” (after the genre created by poet Claudia Rankine and video artist John Lucas) that seek to immerse viewers inside the complex layers of various climate justice issues through a combination of images and narration. Each video narrates an original poem inspired by work in the anthology.

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Teacher: MJ Wong Engel

Course: English 100: An Introduction 

Essential Questions: What is oral history? What is climate change? What is climate justice? Why create oral histories of climate change/climate justice?

Framed by How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America edited by Sara Sinclair, students worked independently and in pairs to create a living archive of community climate justice oral histories. 

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Teacher: MJ Wong Engel

Course: English 200: Writing to Read, Reading to Write

Essential Questions: What is climate fiction? What can writing climate fiction uniquely reveal about climate change?

“I’ve told a story in order to make a case for the truth. I recognize the contradiction here.” (Chiang 230)

Framed by Ted Chiang’s Exhalation and Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats, students researched an environmental issue at home and wrote their own short work of speculative climate fiction.

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