Twelve experienced faculty members from across the United States present their analyses of ground-breaking modern American poets in richly illustrated video lectures.
The course highlights both major poets—from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson through T.S. Eliot, H.D., Amy Lowell, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, Muriel Rukeyser, and many others—and influential movements. The course mixes historical overview with close readings of individual poets and poems. Most courses give only one instructor’s point of view. This one matches the diversity of US poetry with lectures by a score of talented faculty. They bring their special perspective to the material while also presenting a coherent view of more than fifty years of US poetry.
Throughout the course the lectures are illustrated with vivid images of the events, people, and places mentioned in the poems themselves. Readings by both the poets themselves and experienced faculty highlight the texts. On screen displays of text and quotations make it easy to follow the material. This is a course that takes advantage of the medium to bring you sights and sounds that would be difficult to incorporate in classroom lectures.
Ben Curtis completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This is a very traditional course with content read by professors from papers, not like real lectures for the most part. But some of the content was really interesting for me--I was glad to see Hart Crane and Muriel Rukeyser not being slighted as so often...
This is a very traditional course with content read by professors from papers, not like real lectures for the most part. But some of the content was really interesting for me--I was glad to see Hart Crane and Muriel Rukeyser not being slighted as so often happens, and the section on American Indian poetry in the first part of the 19th and early 20th century was a real eye-opener and worth the effort of the entire course on its own.
Positives: this selection of poets was comprehensive and and appropriate for the learning objectives. A list of readings was provided, but not the texts, and no actual reading was required. The papers that were read were interesting but not delivered very dynamically. The few times actual poetry was read aloud, the readings were outstanding.
Negatives: This course does not break any new ground in delivery - there are other poetry MOOCS that that are more engaging. I'm not sure all the presenters feel that online education has much of a future.
I only watched the videos and took the self-assessment quizzes -- did not participate in discussions or submit assignments--the videos took enough time by themselves. I did watch all the videos - and there were lots of problems with the subtitles. I submitted some problem reports on the subtitles, but there were no responses.