What Is a Loser?

Full Title: 
What Is a Loser?
Clark Maddux
Day/Time Taught: 
MW 2:00 – 3:15 pm
Course Number: 

This course offers a trans-disciplinary examination of how we construe, construct, and negotiate the idea of being a loser. Understanding how groups and individual come to be defined as “losers” can be crucial to gaining empathy and better understanding for all individuals in our society. Core readings will draw on historical, literary, religious, visual, and sociological texts from many different periods and cultures to ask the question, “What or who is a loser?” The complexity of this question makes it worthy of study as its definition has changed over time while the question remains central to current debates about politics, education, social services, civil rights, crime and punishment, aging, religion, and parenting to name just a few. A closer look at the construction of this term will enable students to examine how we create abstract concepts, and study their implications.


Instructor Bio: 

Harry  Madduis the Director of Civic Engagement.  He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University in 2001, and has served as teaching faculty at Tennessee State University and, most recently, Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he was an associate professor of English.  In addition to his focus on engaged teaching, as a result of which he has presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and published in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, he is a specialist in Puritan Studies.  He has published articles and book chapters on Puritan poetics, biblical hermeneutics, and early modern thought in journals such as Early American Literature, as well as in collections of essays.  He is also a contributor to the Dictionary of Early American Philosophers.  A volume editor of Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana (Mohr Siebeck), his annotated edition of Mather’s commentary on Ezra through the Psalms will be released this year.  He is also co-editing, with Rick Kennedy (Point Loma University), Mather’s notes on John and Acts, scheduled for publication in 2017.  He has received research fellowships and stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and the Beinecke Library in Yale. 

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

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