Humanities- Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Bread & Words

Bread and Words is a program created by the English faculty at the Chattanooga State Kimball Site to celebrate the Thanksgiving season by sharing food, poetry, and song.  The event is held every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Students and faculty share soup, bread, and poetry while collecting food for the Marion County Food Bank.  The event is free for the community and students.


Chattanooga State Film Festival

The Chattanooga State Film Festival runs for three days in late March, and is free to anyone interested in attending. Events include hands-on workshops taught by community and industry leaders, a featured speaker, as well as numerous film viewings, screenings, and discussions.


ChattState Chautauqua

Named after the lake where the first of its kind was held, a Chautauqua assembly aims “to take people on all sides of their natures and make them new, more intelligent and thoughtful in a world of ideas” (John Vincent, Chautauqua co-founder). In 1874, people gathered on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in New York State to enjoy speakers, teachers, musicians, and specialists who entertained and educated members of the community, thus catalyzing an adult education movement that subsequently spread throughout rural America. Since 2014, Chattanooga State has hosted its own monthly Chautauqua to unite faculty, students, staff, and the larger Chattanooga community in exploring a wide array of topics within the Humanities. Past presentations range from performance-based sessions like “The Traditional Roots of American Popular Music,” to explorations of art, culture, history, and literature, like “How the Scots Invented the Modern World,” “Painters, Protesters, and Poets: WWI in Art and Literature,” and “Redfacing: Media and the Stereotyping of Native American Culture.” Chautauqua presenters are, for the most part, faculty members within the Humanities and Fine Arts Division, although each year the Chautauqua partners with the Writers@Work program to host a joint session featuring that year’s selected guest author.


Creative Writing Club

The Chattanooga State Creative Writing Club provides students interested in all forms of writing (poetry, fiction, lyrics, non-fiction, etc.) with the opportunity to study the craft of writing and improve their skills as writers in a positive environment. The club meets each Wednesday of the school year to listen to speakers, work on craft, and workshop writing.  Members of the Creative Writing Club also have the opportunity to work on the editorial team for The Phoenix, Chattanooga State's Literary/Art Journal. Founded in 1982, The Phoenix showcases the best artistic work of Chattanooga State students through poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, art, and photography.


Dark Hallows

Each October, faculty and students from the Humanities and Fine Arts Division celebrate Halloween with readings, film, and dramatic performances.  Dark Hallows highlights work from the horror, gothic, and speculative genres. Past performances have featured the work of authors Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, H.P. Lovecraft, and Mary Shelley.


Foreign Language Club (Spanish)

El Club de Español is a student-led organization advised by foreign language faculty designed to foster student participation in multicultural activities both on and off campus.  In a typical school year, the Spanish Club will participate in events such as volunteering for local agencies and nonprofits working with Latinos; hosting a special yearly Thanksgiving Food Drive; participating in the Global Film Series; organizing field trips to nearby multicultural events; assisting in international events like the Chattanooga Market´s CultureFest or the Humanities Celebration on campus; and finally, encouraging participation in La Mesa de Español, a conversational group open to both staff and students for the purposes of improving their use of the language and providing a forum for cultural exchange and social expansion.


Humanities Celebration: A Showcase of Student Achievement

The Humanities Celebration is designed to showcase projects created by students in English, Art, Humanities, Foreign Languages, Theater, Speech, and Music.  This interactive annual event provides opportunities for students, faculty, and administrators to engage in presentations and discussions of students’ projects each spring.  Celebration displays are linked to students’ projects for the term. Both collaborative and individual projects are invited. There is no single model or format for Celebration projects; however, past projects have included posters, costumes, multimedia presentations, and models.  In addition to student presentations, Celebration attendees enjoy great food, as well as dance, theater, and music exhibitions.


The John Stigall Spoken Word Poetry Contest

The John Stigall Spoken Word Poetry Contest was created in honor of former author, poet, spoken word artist, Associate Professor of English, and poet-in-residence at Chattanooga State Community College, John Stigall, Sr. While at Chattanooga State, Stigall founded and became editor of the campus's literary magazine The Phoenix. In the month of February, all Chattanooga State students are invited to submit original poetry that focuses on aspect(s) of African-American culture, either past or present.  The winning pieces are shared with the campus community during a student and faculty reception.


Meacham Writers’ Workshop

The Meacham Writers’ Workshop is a biannual event co-sponsored by Chattanooga State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to bring writers from around the world to Chattanooga for an intensive three-day series of readings, workshops, and informal gatherings.  Students (as well as faculty, staff, and members of the community) can submit works to be reviewed by the visiting writers in a group workshop. The Meacham website lists information about past guests, the current schedule, instructions for submissions, and recordings and videos of some of the writers who have previously participated.


Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa, founded in 1918, is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society serving two-year colleges around the world. Phi Theta Kappa's mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming. Membership is based on superior academic achievement and is conferred by invitation.  The Alpha Beta Mu Chapter at Chattanooga State, currently the second largest in the state of Tennessee, recognizes and rewards high achieving students and provides scholarships for students to develop critical leadership skills.


The Shamrock Festival

The annual Shamrock Festival exposes students to issues related to Irish and Irish-American culture through a series of events during the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Students and community members are invited to campus to meet with Irish and Irish-American authors, musicians, and social activists, as well as to watch Irish films and eat Irish-inspired cuisine during an event co-hosted with the campus’s International Film Series.


Student Research Symposium

The Student Research Symposium is an interdisciplinary marketplace of ideas for students to present and discuss research conducted throughout the semester.  Using a variety of formats, this event engages both first- and second-year students and their research, where they are evaluated by a panel of experts on their content and presentation style.  



Created in 2011, Writers@Work (W@W) is an exciting project that provides opportunities for interaction with well-known Southern authors.  Each academic year, students in ENGL 1020 Composition II utilize a common text as they compose essays centered on literary analysis. In the Spring semester, the author visits for a week of activities with students and the greater Chattanooga community.  The program includes readings at the library; writing workshops on campus; inter-disciplinary showcases of dance, sculpture, and photography: and evenings with the author at locations across the Scenic City. Authors have included Southern literary greats such as Terry Kay, Ishmael Reed, Jill McCorkle, Lila Q. Weaver, Rick Bragg, Ron Rash, Robert Morgan, Tayari Jones and George Singleton.


Young Adult Literature Lovers

Young Adult Literature Lovers (YALL) is an engaging student, faculty, and staff book club that focuses on Young Adult literature.  YALL meets three times a semester each Fall and Spring to discuss Young Adult literary works. The works discussed are chosen by group members each semester, and they include award-winning selections of all sub-genres within the Young Adult genre.  


Young Writers Conference

Each January, faculty from the Humanities and Fine Arts Division invite Juniors and Seniors from local high schools to campus for a one-day conference focused on creative writing in a multitude of disciplines.  Faculty volunteers lead sessions on different genres and elements of fiction, poetry, film, theatre, and many other types of writing and performing. Students are also given the opportunity to submit poetry, short fiction, or nonfiction essays for a writing contest, and an annual collection of all the work is distributed to each attendee. A visiting guest author delivers a keynote speech, accompanied by a reading and a period of questions and answers. Past authors have included Cherie Priest, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and Jeff Zentner.