Lessons from Mister Spoonface: Privacy, Reproduction, and Creativity in the Modern World
Honors Colloquium is the mission course for the School of Arts & Sciences Honors Program. The course is designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity; to develop students’ ability to discuss, reason, and think critically, and to make connections across a range of disciplinary categories; to provide students with a taste of all that a major research university has to offer inside and outside the classroom; and to develop a sense of community among Honors students.
The Spring 2017 Honors Colloquium will use SAS Honors Program’s writer-in-residence, Paul Blaney’s short new novel, Mister Spoonface, as the starting point for a discussion of some of the most pressing issues of our age. We will debate issues that affect our private and public lives in the early 21st century, such as the planet’s surging population, privacy rights and cyber security, reproductive technologies, gender, family, and parenting.
In addition to topical lectures and small discussion sections, students will explore the creative process of close observation, character development, narration, and storytelling. These are useful skills for creative writing. But these are also skills that may be applied across a wide range of academic disciplines and professions. For the final group project, students will write a scene that might have taken place in the novel, Mister Spoonface.
Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
New Academic Building, College Ave Campus, room 2400
The course meets for ten weeks, beginning January 25, 2017
One credit; pass/no credit
About Mister Spoonface, from the Red Button Press website: https://redbuttonpublishing.net/red-button-publications/mister-spoonface-by-paul-blaney/
Fred Pooley feels as though there’s a gaping hole inside him, somewhere between his heart and his stomach. Since returning to London after six years in Hong Kong, he’s been drifting; a new job and a new girlfriend do little to fill the gap. Meeting up with his first love Sally and her baby daughter sets him musing about children. He never thought he wanted kids; now suddenly he can’t stop thinking about becoming a father. An attempt to connect with the father who deserted him only leaves him more bereft. Presented with a chance to discover a ‘family’ of his own, Fred crosses a line into a world of dark obsession. A thoroughly modern novel about family and what it means to be a parent.