Nicholls State University has revamped its English course list this year, adding classes about the wilderness, sports and the popular “Twilight” book series.
“We’re trying to get what students are interested in, what students find engaging, what resonates with them,” said department head Ellen Barker.
This year’s offerings for the English 102 course, which almost every student takes, include course titles like “Edible English,” “The Horror Film,” and “The ’60s.”
Course titles for the 210 class include “Literature in the Bible,” “New Orleans Literature,” “Sports Literature,” “Literature and the Wilderness,” and “ ‘Twilight’ Series Allusions.”
John Doucet is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, which includes English. He said the department is trying to ramp up interest in English classes, which are an important part of his college’s curriculum.
“A lot of students are apprehensive about certain upper-level classes. They say ‘Oh, I’m not good at English, so I don’t want to take these classes,’ ” he said. “These new topics are so inviting that I think the students are going be much more engaged.”
Richmond Eustis, who got his PhD in comparative literature from LSU in 2010, is teaching “Literature in the Wilderness” in his first semester at Nicholls.
“I had my first day of class [Wednesday], and the students all seem bright and super-engaged,” Eustis said. “This class was really fun to teach.”
Eustis said the class will read some wildly varying material, from the 4,000-old epic “Gilgamesh” to works by Henry David Thoreau, to Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild.”