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As the title of our blog suggests, these posts by College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) faculty and special guests will engage, inform and challenge you in a myriad of ways. The posts reflect the diversity of our programs of study: degrees that are traditional (history), current (justice studies and communications), academic (English literature) and career-oriented (psychology, counseling, criminal justice and government). Here, there is something for everyone.
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Category: History and Literature
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By Brian Raftery, MA
Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Two hundred years ago this summer, Jane Austen died at the age of 41. Although her novels were published anonymously and received scant attention during her brief life, they have rarely been out of print since and can now be enjoyed in 40 different languages and multiple screen and stage adaptations. As Austen herself might have said, it would not be an exaggeration to suggest that she has become one of the most beloved writers in the canon of English literature.

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By Jessalyn Johnson
Editor of StartleBloom

Last year, StartleBloom made its debut as GCU’s new student literary review. This year, the book returned for its second volume and was released to the public in early April. The review is made up of a compilation of poetry, short fiction and artwork, all of which is submitted by GCU students. A small board of English literature students lead the review, advised by two professors, Diane Goodman and Heather Brody.

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By Brian P. Raftery, MA
Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

In preparing to co-author a new course in American literature, I re-read “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” As you may know, it was an enormously popular and influential work in its era, and it continues to be studied in literature, history and philosophy courses to the present day.

The autobiography recounts Benjamin Franklin’s prototypically American success story, which starts with his early life as the 15th of 17 children of a poor tallow chandler in Boston. It follows him through an unhappy apprenticeship in an older brother’s printing shop until he leaves Boston at the age of 17 to make his own way.

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By Sherman Elliott, EdD
Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Claire was listening to her favorite radio program, “The Shadow,” when an important broadcast interrupted the popular murder mystery program. The announcer read the copy, “The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor.”

Claire ran into the kitchen to tell her father the news. Putting his newspaper down, he quickly admonished her for saying such things. “No, Dad, it’s true. Come listen to the radio,” she pleaded.

Glen stood in silence as the radio broadcaster repeated the details of the unprovoked attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That was the first time my mother ever saw my grandfather cry.

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By Jessalyn Johnson
English and Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Last year, I began my journey as an English literature student at Grand Canyon University. As a writer, I was interested in studying all of the great poets and novelists who came before me. The only thing I knew to expect was a lot of reading – and that I did.

Though I still have a ways to go before I complete my degree, I have learned many valuable things about literature, and hope to put this towards my writing as I transition into GCU’s new degree: English with an emphasis in professional writing.

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By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Do you have a passion for writing? Consider earning a Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing. With this degree, you will develop a wide array of writing skills that can prepare you for many different careers, including those in the exciting field of journalism. Continue reading to learn about five reasons to pursue a career in journalism:

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By James P. Helfers, PhD
Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

When “The Last Battle,” the last book of The Chronicles of Narnia series, was published in 1956, Clive Staples (C. S., or, as he liked to be called, Jack) Lewis had already had a long and diverse career as a literary scholar and critic, as an adult convert to Christianity, as a Christian apologist (one who defends and explains a faith) and, now, as the author of a children’s series.

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By Brian P. Raftery
Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Two hundred years ago this summer, an unknown 21-year-old woman conceived the idea for a story that became one of the most popular and influential novels ever written. “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus” has been the inspiration for hundreds of movies, plays, stories, musicals, comic books and television shows, and translated into numerous languages.

“Frankenstein” has been the subject of countless philosophical, psychological, literary and sociological analyses. The name itself, Frankenstein, conjures images of a terrifying and powerful creature intent on exacting a monstrous revenge on the man who created him. Fittingly, the idea for the story came to the author on a dark and stormy night

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By Jessalyn Johnson
English and Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Over the course of the 2015-16 school year, a select group of individuals within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University set out to start a literary review composed of student work. The review, titled “StartleBloom: The GCU Literary Review,” contains poetry and short fiction, as well as artwork and photography.

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