Satire course offered fall 2014 as english, writing, humanities credit

Santana Wilson, Student Reporter

A new satire course will be offered at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for the fall of 2014 under the Thematic Studies in Literature course opportunities.

Dr. David Gillota, a UW-Platteville professor who teaches American literature, film, composition and ethnic studies, will be teaching this course next semester.

The course will be offered strictly for the fall semester and a maximum of 24 students, who have already completed freshman composition courses, will be eligible to take the course.
Furthermore, this course will count for credits towards humanities, writing and literature.

Satire is considered a work of literature or art that utilizes humor to critique human follies and institutions.

Through the inspiration of his own research in humor and literature, Gillota has become determined to teach a unique course about satire and increase students’ knowledge regarding this common use of language and its potentially powerful and effective implications.

“A study of satire will not only teach students something about a particular literary genre but also provide a window into the ways in which writers and other artists have used their art as a means of challenging institutions of power and social norms,” Gillota said. “This course can play an important role in helping students think about the role that art and literature play in relation to the world.”

This course will explore popular subjects within Gulliver’s Travels and analyze the work of Mark Twain and the Marx Brothers, along with various examples of contemporary pop culture, such as “South Park,” “The Boondocks,” “Chappelle’s Show,” and “The Daily Show.”

Students will also learn to understand the inner-workings and satirical performances of multiple popular satirists.

After the implementation of the satire course, the English Department will allow teachers to propose new course ideas that would meet the general education and English requirements.

Since Gillota originally proposed the idea for the satire course, English Department Chair Terry Burns discussed that Gillota will be the best professor for this course based on his enthusiasm and passion for the subject.

“I think taking this class will help people appreciate the ways that people express themselves, get a better ability to understand satire and see how it can be literature, socially relevant and funny all at the same time,” Burns said. “Hopefully they will also find out how to understand the difference between satire and what is offensive because it’s a thin line.”

Fall registration for this class began on March 31, so students currently have the opportunity to explore this course and make any necessary arrangements with their schedules if they are interested in enrolling in the course.

“This is an open invitation to writers of the Antagonist to come take David’s [Gillota] course,” Burns said.