Faculty Profile: Sydney Kaplan

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Professor Sydney Kaplan housed her senior seminar on British writing in the 1920s in the department’s CIC classrooms during Spring, 2002. Emphasizing the diversity of cultural themes that students might explore in well- and lesser-known texts, Professor Kaplan urged students to explore both the required texts and their cultural, interdisciplinary contexts.

She also opted for variety in employing traditional versus experimental methods of in-class investigation. Some examples: students read Eliot’s “The Waste Land” traditionally in codex form, then listened to the resonance of his voice on audiofile; they studied D.H. Lawrence's graphic treatment of sexuality compared with his colorful artwork displayed on his followers’ Internet Web sites; they researched subjects via the UW Library Gateway, then presented reports on PowerPoint, so that projected text plus images could sometimes speak the thousand words that some presenters might otherwise find difficult to articulate.


Topics as varied as scholarly bias in critiquing Viriginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway to architectural settings as class symbols in Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover to the influence of Nietzsche in Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point filled the last two weeks of term-end presentations, the online research and software tools available to students adding a professional polish to their capstone academic performances.



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