UVa to Offer New Course That Studies the Sullivan Saga

By: Carter Johnson Email
By: Carter Johnson Email

July 24, 2012

In light of the events at University of Virginia this summer, with President Sullivan’s sudden ouster and then reinstatement, faculty members at the university are using this as a teaching experience and offering a new course this fall.

“The teachable moment was really strong for the whole university community. We hope that this is also something that is going to motivate students to want to take the class,” said John Alexander, the professor for the course.

The class is called: Documenting UVa’s Future: Oral History of the Ouster and Reinstatement.

Students will invite people to share their experience and to explain their motivation and the meaning behind the events.

“Something was deeply touching thousands of people; they responded in some powerful way to something that was unfolding in front of them so the oral history is just an invitation to those people who want to explore that, who want that story told," said Alexander.

The oral documentation is not meant as a full comprehensive history project, but rather as insight on the unprecedented actions and their implications on the UVa community.

The students in the course will conduct all of the interviews and at this point, we’re not sure who they’ll be talking to. The professor says it doesn’t matter who they interview as everyone involved has a unique story and perspective to share.

The course is a 300 level class in the Media Studies Department but it is available to any student without any prerequisites. Walter Heinecke is co-teaching the course with John Alexander.

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