An Independent Study at Kutztown University: Filming Greatness of Soul

Student: Josh Munson

Professor: Dr. Andrew J. Corsa

This webpage shares the projects Josh Munson completed for an interdisciplinary Independent Study I led at Kutztown University in 2014. Josh did incredible work!

The course was divided into two units. The first half of the course focused on the virtue of greatness of soul, also called "magnanimity." We read Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Edmund Spenser, Thomas Hobbes, George Washington's "First Inaugural Address" and Robert Faulkner. In the second half of the course, we read about dramatic-performance in relation to philosophy, focusing in particular on the notions of empathy and mimesis. We read Plato, Aristotle, Augusto Boal, Paul Woodruff, and Martin Puchner.

During the first half of the course, Josh submitted several drafts of a 10-page paper on greatness of soul, which we discussed at length. In response to several rounds of feedback and discussion, Josh completed a high quality final draft of the paper.

During the second half of the course, Josh wrote and directed a short film related to the topic of greatness. He wrote a screenplay and revised it. He assembled and organized a team of film-actors and crew. He directed the short film, and subsequently edited it. During the second half of the course, Josh also wrote an additional short paper about his film, and how it relates to the theorists we were discussing, who write about dramatic performance.

At the end of the course, Josh presented his essays and his film for the University community, in an event sponsored by the KU Philosophy Student Organization.

This Interdisciplinary Study was designed specifically for Josh, who is a senior at Kutztown University, and who is majoring in Electronic Media and minoring in Philosophy. He was able to work on a project that combined his interests and highlighted his ability to make great use of skills developed in two different academic departments.

On this page, Josh and I have included links to all three of his class projects: The two papers and the film.

At Josh's end-of-semester presentation, he read his 10-page essay on greatness prior to showing his short film. In the discussion he had with his audience afterward, it became clear that hearing his paper first shaped the ways in which his audience viewed the film. Certain ideas "popped out" more strongly in the film, as a result. If you read his paper before seeing the film, you will probably see the film differently. No matter where you start, your experiences are likely to affect how you view and understand the rest.

Of course, if you just want to see the film, without reading anything, that's "cool." It's a great film on its own!



To return to Andrew Corsa's main Creative Project page, please click here.