MSU COURSES

Years ago, during my formative years in high school, a literary arts teacher once encouraged me to share my gifts with the world. In the years since, I have entered the classroom as a middle and high school teacher and now a college instructor to accomplish that goal: to help students within my local communities better grasp the fields of composition and literary analysis that are ultimately vital to interacting with the surrounding world. Over time, I have taught a variety of courses in these fields. Below are the course descriptions from my years at Morgan State University. 

Freshman Studies and Freshman Composition I
Morgan State University

ENGL 101

These courses, English 101: Freshman Composition I and English 101: Freshman Studies, are aimed at helping students to develop their overall writing skills and integrate these skills into the critical and analytical examination of literature and ideas. By developing a better understanding of literature, the means for reading these texts perceptively, and basic principles for critically evaluating the texts we read, students will inherently develop an awareness of the power of language and its overarching potential as an influential and informative tool. These courses are, thus, writing and grammar intensive to aid students in their overall grasp of composition (in a variety of compositional styles), constructing clear and effective arguments with detailed attention to organization and grammatical concerns. Students should expect to read a diverse selection of texts on a variety of social and cultural issues, all the while strengthening their comprehension of concepts critical in the modern world. The Freshman Composition I course, for students who perform well on the Accuplacer examination, is intended for a three day per week, fifteen week schedule. The Freshman Studies course, a remedial English course for students with lower Accuplacer and SAT scores, was intended for a five day per week, fifteen-week schedule. 

Freshman Composition II
Morgan State University

ENGL 102

This course, English 102: Freshman Composition II, is aimed at helping students develop their overall writing skills and integrate these skills into the critical and analytical examination of literature and ideas. By developing a better understanding of literature, the means for reading these texts perceptively, and basic principles for critically evaluating the texts we read, students will inherently develop an awareness of the power of language and its overarching potential as an influential and informative tool. This course is, hence, writing and research intensive to aid students in their overall grasp of composition across the disciplines while constructing clear and effective arguments with detailed attention to research. Students should expect to read a diverse selection of texts across genres and on a variety of social and cultural issues, all the while strengthening their comprehension of concepts critical in the surrounding world. This course was intended for a three day per week, fifteen-week schedule; the assigned authors/texts vary with each semester. 

Humanities in the Ancient and Pre-Modern World
Morgan State University

Humanities 201

In its examination of literature from all across the world, this Humanities 201 course is aimed at engaging students in a discussion of the social, historical, and cultural themes evident in the early artistic works across the globe. In order to gain a better understanding of the collective issues and experiences of these different cultures, we must often step outside of ourselves and the issues prevalent in our immediate communities, exploring the social and cultural dilemmas that authors and artists alike attempt to address in their works. As a result, in this course, we will examine these core themes in fiction, poetry, drama, and essays in addition to analyzing art, artifacts, and music from across the globe in order to better understand various world cultures and the valuable perspective those artists can offer on the human experience. In an attempt to expand the horizons of students whose contact with other cultures is limited outside of their own, this course engages students in the critical conversations that the classics of world literature have evoked, at the same time offering a comparative approach to the themes expressed in art of the world’s different cultures. This course, an interdisciplinary English course, was intended for a three day per week, fifteen-week schedule. 

Humanities with an Africana Emphasis

Morgan State University

Humanities 202

In its examination of literature from all across the world, this Humanities 202 course is aimed at engaging students in a discussion of the social, historical, and cultural themes evident in artistic works of different mediums. In order to gain a better understanding of the collective experiences and issues of these different cultures, we must often step outside of ourselves and the issues prevalent in our immediate communities, exploring the social dilemmas that authors and artists alike attempt to address in their works. As a result, in this course, we will examine these core themes in fiction, poetry, drama, and essays in addition to analyzing art, artifacts, and music from across the globe in order to better understand world cultures and the valuable perspective those artists can offer on the human experience. In an attempt to expand the horizons of students whose contact with other cultures is limited outside of their own, this course will undertake an Africana emphasis. The course, an interdisciplinary English course, was intended for a three day per week, fifteen-week schedule. 

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with Christopher Allen Varlack

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"I will have my voice . . . 
I will overcome the tradition of silence."

—Gloria Anzaldúa

"There is no greater agony 
than bearing an untold story inside you."

—Maya Angelou

Contact Dr. Varlack directly via E-mail at cavarlack@gmail.com for inquiries regarding speaking engagements and more.