Special courses to come

This article was originally published prior to June 2, 2013. Due to a change in the content management systems, the initial publication date in not available. 

Students are being offered 14 special topics courses this spring semester, including one that will allow students to research, study and act out Baker University’s history.

This particular class titled Acting Out History will be jointly taught by Associate Professor of Theater Bruce Woodruff and University Archivist Brenda Day. The course will be part of the Baker@150 celebration.

“I’ve known historical re-enactors for many years,” Day said. “I’ve always had this idea for when Baker had its 150th year. When the planning began it was one of the first ideas out of people’s mouths. We’re getting it into the academic calendar to give time for people to research, practice and work out the bugs.”

Students will be given the opportunity to research specific characters such as Bishop William Alfred Quayle or Lizzie Keifer, a Baker student in the 1860s. Day said the class will be especially beneficial for history, education and theater students who will be given the opportunity to do archive research and work to make a character come to life.

In addition to experience, Day said the course might also be a good networking and moneymaking opportunity for students to learn to develop and perform such characters. Students will get the opportunity to perform the character at several anniversary celebrations throughout the year.

“You never know who will show up (at the events),” Day said. “I think it’s going to be fun to watch the students portray Baker history. It’s all about ‘what can we do to make it relevant to you.'”

Woodruff said the class will be a new way for people who have interest in theater to be able to perform.

“I think it can be a more intense way to present information about our history,” Woodruff said. “One of the things about history is that it’s a name on a page in a textbook and so this makes it more vivid; it makes it more dynamic.”

For students who are nervous about the work the course may entail, Day said she will “be with you every step of the way.”

The class was approved by the faculty senate after recommendations by the Educational Programs Committee.

Though this course and other special topic courses approved by the faculty senate and recommended by EPC do not always directly fulfill a major requirement, Chair of EPC Darcy Russell said several reasons exist explaining why these courses may benefit students.

“Some of these courses some could use toward their major,” Russell said. “They might use it as an elective toward their major. They also might do it because it was intriguing to them or can help their resume.”

Student EPC representative Anthony Billinger said he thinks the history re-enactment course seems like a good one.

“It is something that students can actually use at Baker and beyond,” Billinger said.