Doctor Who: TARDIS Travels

Full Course Title: 
Doctor Who: TARDIS Travels in General Education
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
111: MW 5:00 - 6:15 pm
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
194: TR 6:30 – 7:45 pm
Fall 2016
The Arts

For 50 years, the BBC television series Dr. Who has followed the adventures of an alien “Time Lord” who travels through time and space via a time-travelling spaceship known as the TARDIS, which resembles the once-ubiquitous blue police boxes of Britain.  What began (and continues) as a popular mainstay of British culture has grown from a cult classic into a global phenomenon.  For its entire run, the show has consistently transcended its “science fiction” genre label and addressed a variety of topics and issues:  politics; race; class; religion; and ethics.  In this course, we will examine and discuss the show in aesthetic, narrative, and interdisciplinary contexts through such starting points as art, literature, science, philosophy, anthropology, mythology, and history.  We will also analyze the global implications of these disciplines as they are presented and treated in various episodes and story arcs from the series.  Such examples will include (but not be limited to) immigration, colonialism, and personal and collective identity.  Students will engage in both classroom and online discussions, creative projects, and extensive individual and group research and writing.


Don PresnellDr. Don Presnell holds MA degrees in English and Spanish from Appalachian State University. His doctoral dissertation—written in fulfillment of the Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership in Appalachian State’s Reich College of Education—is titled “ ‘Visitor to all, native to none’: How Digital-native teacher education students use bricolage and multiple modalities to construct knowledge” (2012). For two years, he taught elementary Spanish (K-8) for two schools in the Watauga County school system. He is the co-author of A Critical History of Television’s The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964 (McFarland, 1998) and has taught multiple sections of college English, Spanish, and humanities courses, including Basic English; Expository Writing; Introduction to Literature; Literature-Based Research; Writing Through Rhetoric; Writing Through Perception; British Literature; American Literature; World Literature; Introduction to Film; Elementary Spanish; Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age; The Narrative Art of Comics (First Year Seminar); The Twilight Zone (First Year Seminar); and Doctor Who: TARDIS Travels in General Education (First Year Seminar). He has been nominated for both the Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in First Year Seminar (2012) and the Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award (2014, 2017, 2018) at Appalachian State University. He is currently the Director of the Common Reading Program and a Lecturer with First Year Seminar. His interests include multimodality; literature; comics and graphic novels; film and television studies; English and Spanish; pedagogy and instructional design; educational leadership; and baseball.

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:
Rick Klima

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