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Monday, October 10, 2011

Literature: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Literature: Death Comes for the Archbishop (American Classics Series)
(click on course title for registration page)

Class dates: Tuesdays, January 17 to March 6. No class on Jan. 24 and Feb. 21.
Total classes: 6
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th or college
Starting time: 10:00 am Eastern (9:00 am Central)
Duration: One hour
Fee: $80 if you register on or before November 1, 2011. $100 after Nov. 1 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Henry Russell, PhD
Prerequisite: Ability to enjoy reading and discussing the works.
High school credit: 1⁄2 semester credit; for full credit, follow with Dr. Russell’s course on “The Redemptive Comedy of Flannery O'Connor”.
Course description: Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop is one of the few American novels radically to appreciate and celebrate the Catholic culture of the American Southwest that long pre-dated the settling of Plymouth Massachusetts.
          This is a relatively short novel built on the life of the first (French) Archbishop of New Mexico. The novel is constructed around multiple journeys: from the cultivation of the Old World to the beautiful yet primitive New World; from a region that was Indian and pagan, that becomes Spanish and Catholic, only to be forced into the United States; from the West of Kit Carson to a region of cities and towns; from being an outsider in a strage land to becoming one with the land; from a slightly sceptical view of saints and miracles to a keen sense of God’s Providence to the American world.
          At all times the glowing beauty of the American Southwest and of heroic piety upholds the narrative and the reader. This is one of the great Catholic books ever written by one who did not, as far as we know, formally enter the Church in her life here on earth.

Course outline:
Class One: Willa Cather, Preface and Book 1, Chapter 1
Class Two: Book 1.2 to Book 2
Class Three: Books 3 and 4
Class Four: Books 5 and 6
Class Five: Books 7 and 8. 2
Class Six: Books 8.3 – End
Course materials: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Homework: Dr. Russell will provide quizzes, essay topics, and a midterm and final exam to be graded by the parent. Answer keys provided.

Instructor biography: Dr. Henry Russell is Headmaster of the St. Augustine’s Homeschool Enrichment Program founded with his wife Crystal. The program began in Fall 2005 with 20 students in two living rooms and now tutors more than 70 students. He is also the President of the SS Peter and Paul Educational Foundation, dedicated to founding an orthodox Catholic Liberal Arts college in southeast Michigan.
          A graduate of Princeton and South Caroline (M.S.), Dr. Russell completed his graduate work at Louisiana State University. Formerly the Chairman of Ave Maria College’s Department of Literature, he has also been a professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Wake Forest University. He is a founding faculty member of the St. Robert Southwell Creative Writing Workshop held in Mahwah, New Jersey.
          Dr. Russell’s works include The Catholic Shakespeare Audio Series available from Kolbe Academy. He was the Associate Editor of The Formalist from 1990-2004 and his writings have been published in various journals. He was honored to edit Dr. Alice von Hildebrand’s groundbreaking volume, The Privilege of Being a Woman.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.
Dr. Russell will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.
Recordings of classes are provided to students within 24 hours and available for 6 months.
Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping services.

Literature: Death Comes for the Archbishop (American Classics Series)
(click on course title for registration page)

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