When Fiction Becomes Reality: Teaching Dystopias during a Pandemic

Jason S. Todd, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Xavier University of Louisiana

The X-Core Pyramid illustrates the pedagogical organization of the X-Core Curriculum.
The X-Core Pyramid illustrates the pedagogical organization of the X-Core Curriculum.

X-Core & Interdisciplinary Learning

Xavier University of Louisiana’s Core Curriculum (X-Core) emphasizes Xavier’s identity as a Catholic and historically Black institution and supports the goal that students should achieve both breadth and depth of knowledge in the liberal arts. X-Core enriches the undergraduate educational experience by exposing students to integrative approaches in learning and by cultivating nuanced perspectives for engaging in thought and in action the major questions of their lives. Required of all undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the 40 credit hours of the X-Core provide the foundation and, together with the major program of study, contribute to a well-rounded education.

Engagements with Knowledge and Practice

Engagements courses accentuate integrative and applied learning. Catholic intellectual tradition emphasizes that learning is most meaningful when difficult questions are investigated from a variety of perspectives. The Engagements courses allow students to explore connections between disciplines and provide opportunities to study a “big idea” topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives in order to find solutions to complex problems. The Engagements seminars prepare students to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by enhancing students’ preparedness to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society.

XCOR 3010: Engaging the Mission

Courses approved in this category challenge students to think more deeply about ideas, practices, and values that align with Xavier’s mission and reinforce critical thinking, as well as oral and written communication skills. Students learn to integrate diverse perspectives with a breadth and depth of knowledge, while also utilizing different, methodologies to find solutions to complex problems. Students choose from a variety of unique seminar topics developed by faculty and organized around different “big ideas.”

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