CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 20, 2014 — Southeast Missouri State University’s Online Learning, in cooperation with the Center for Faulkner Studies, is currently offering “Faulkner 101,” an eight-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Class) that is open to everyone free of charge.
Led by Dr. Robert Hamblin, emeritus professor of English and founding director of the Faulkner Center, who will be assisted by Dr. Christopher Rieger, associate professor of English and current director of the Center, the MOOC will focus on three of William Faulkner’s greatest novels: “As I Lay Dying,” “The Sound and the Fury” and “Light in August.”
Anyone interested in participating in the MOOC may log on to the site at http://mooc.semo.edu/login/index.php. On the site, participants may view video lectures and discussions by Hamblin and Rieger, as well as helpful hints on reading Faulkner and study guides to the three novels. A video tour of Faulkner’s hometown, Oxford, Miss., and an interview with the scholars who lead the annual “Teaching Faulkner” sessions at the University of Mississippi also are available.
Featured items from the Louis Daniel Brodsky William Faulkner Collection, housed in the University’s Rare Book Room, will also be displayed on the MOOC site. The Brodsky Collection is widely recognized as one of the finest Faulkner collections in the world.
Participants may interact with each other by posting comments and asking questions on the MOOC’s email forum.
“The MOOC is organized much like a book club discussion,” Hamblin said. “There are no quizzes or assignments, just a meeting place for those interested in expanding or beginning their reading of some Faulkner books.”
Additionally, Hamblin explained, participants may choose to read the novels and access the lectures, study guides, and forum discussions in any order they choose. “The structure is very open-ended,” Hamblin said. “Participants may choose any or all of the activities on the site.”
A “Southern” writer who is sometimes called “the American Shakespeare,” Faulkner, who died in 1962, is now considered one of the world’s great writers, with a growing following in Latin America, Japan, China and other regions. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.