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Course Descriptions

We are currently reviewing our curriculum, and that is good news for you! The Governor's School in the Humanities and in the Visual and Performing Arts wants to offer the best of Radford University and the current curriculum review is part of this effort. We will have our curriculum posted soon, but, in the meantime, below you will find samples of courses we have offered in the past.


The Story of Movies
Ted McKoskey
A guided tour through the aesthetic, economic, social and technological development of this global phenomena we call the Movies. Travelers will be exposed to the greats, not so greats, the ground breakers, the eccentrics, artists, engineers, censors and free thinkers who led us to those seats we take in front of the big screen. Critical viewing, thinking, and expression will be required. Be warned, film embraces all of life and we will embrace all of film.

The Cultural Significance of Monsters
Dr. Paul Thomas
It’s not a flattering image, but when we, as a culture, flock to the latest cinematic incarnation of Godzilla, or when we shudder at the trundling zombie on our smaller living-room screens, or when we crack the latest New York Times best-selling vampire novel, we observe ourselves in these monstrous proxies. The monsters we create are signifiers of our deepest fears and anxieties. They are the blank canvases upon which we paint our nightmares. Our monsters revel in a collective dread of chaos, desperate grasping for order, fear of change, and hatred of the outsider. Monsters are snapshots of particular moments in time and serve as gate keepers to the underbelly of history. You are invited to join my monster hunt. Help me shine light into the darkest fissures of the mind. We will drive monsters from their sordid lairs and interrogate these dread beasts with two simple questions: “Where do you come from and why are you here?”

The Body and the Machine in Film and Literature
Dr. Erin L. Webster Garrett
This course will be taught from a Women’s Studies perspective and will look specifically at issues related to technology and gender construction. While together we will question how technology shapes and informs identity formation, and we will ask practical questions about why women and girls in science and technology “remain a rare breed.” Through screening films, reading short fiction, and pursuing hands-on activities, such as repurposing a computer into jewelry, we will look at the ways in which technology has been used in story and myth to define, differentiate, and discriminate the nature of human consciousness into male/technology and female/humanities spheres of influence. As a final point but as an overarching area of discovery, we will take a specific look at a digital archive of women’s journals composed as part of Radford University’s laboratory school in the early 20th century.

Visual and Performing Arts

In prior years students in the visual arts have participated in a robust curriculum, including jewelry making and ceramics and education in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques.

The music curriculum has been equally rigorous and robust. Prior Governor's School students have taken courses in chamber choir, music history, master classes by discipline, band orchestra, and group practice.

Students in dance have enjoyed classes in jazz, modern, improv, ballet, and dance technology.

Student in the theatre program have worked in improv ensemble, Broadway singing boot camp, audition preparation, workshops on the craft of playwriting and direction, and technique classes on breathing.

As our 2015 curriculum continues to evolve we invite you to check back here for updates.