The Literature of Triumph: Reflections on an English Seminar Experience

Open Access
Peters, Carrie A
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Civic and Community Engagement and Religious Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Nicole Sheree Webster, Thesis Supervisor
  • On Cho Ng, Honors Advisor
  • Anne Carver Rose, Faculty Reader
  • Jeremy Cohen, Faculty Reader
  • Nicole Sheree Webster, Honors Advisor
  • english seminar
  • social justice
  • literature
  • high school class
“The Literature of Triumph: Reflections on an English Seminar Experience” introduces and follows the high school English seminar I taught in the spring of 2009 at the State College Area Delta Program. The course contended that a person faced with adversity could choose to not only overcome his or her own sufferings, but also, through that choice, find meaning in, and for, his or her life. In order to present such an argument, I assigned a variety of memoirs and true stories, from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning to Shirin Ebadi’s Iran Awakening, for the students to read and discuss. Centering primarily on the journal I kept over the course of the 18-week semester, the following is a reflection on that experience, and as such allows the reader to understand my goals behind creating the seminar, my responses toward student input, and how I feel I have grown from the experience overall. In addition to my journal, I have included a bibliography, an in-depth introduction, and a reflection written by my co-teacher, Gary Masquelier, one of Delta’s full-time English teachers.