Ways of Reading: Autobiography|
"Ways of Reading" introduces students to the characteristics thought of as literary and the methods for studying them. This is a gateway course into the English major, and only one of the ENGL201 series may be taken for credit.
"Ways of Reading" courses develop strategies for careful and close reading, and techniques for the analysis of literary forms such as poetry, drama, and prose narratives such as novels and short stories. They familiarize students with some of the protocols of the literary-critical essay, examine the idea of literature as a social institution, and explore ways of connecting textual details and the world beyond the text. The ways of reading learned in the course are powerful tools for critically assessing discourses that expand far beyond the realm of literature. So while students will become adept literary critics, they also will learn quickly that to be a literary critic is to read critically and carefully all the time: in poems, novels, and plays; but also in political speech, in popular culture, and in the discourses that shape everyday life.
Attending closely to the transformative properties of figurative language and the structuring principles of narrative, in this "Ways of Reading" course we will consider how language creates a life. We will begin with the lyric poetry and prose memoir of Lucille Clifton, and will encounter similar pairings over the course of this semester. We will explore the formal dimensions of lyric poetry by analyzing the ways that figurative language simultaneously compresses and expands meanings, the significance of where one line ends and another begins, and the creation of a speaker and addressee. When reading prose, we will study larger structures of meaning, and learn how to track the accretion of detail over many pages, and will explore our expectations for how a first-person account should be structured. Throughout, we will be exploring how literary language represents a human life.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)
||Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Lucille Clifton, GOOD WOMAN: POEMS AND A MEMOIR, 1969-1980 (Brockport, NY: BOA editions, 1987)
Maggie Nelson, JANE: A MURDER (Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 2005)
THE RED PARTS: A MEMOIR (New York: Free Press, 2007)
Paul Guest, MY INDEX OF SLIGHTLY HORRIFYING KNOWLEDGE;
ONE MORE THEORY OF HAPPINESS
Jeanette Winterson, ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT;
WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL
Audre Lorde, Zami: A NEW SPELLING OF MY NAME: A BIOMYTHOGRAPHY (Crossing Press, New York, 1982).
Frederick Douglass, NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE, WRITTEN BY HIMSELF
Eula Biss, NOTES FROM NO MAN'S LAND: AMERICAN ESSAYS (Minneapolis: Gray Wolf Press, 2009)
Maxine Hong Kingston, THE WOMAN WARRIOR: MEMOIRS OF A CHILDHOOD AMONG GHOSTS (Vintage, 1975; Reissue edition, 2010)
|Examination and Assignments: |
6 short papers ranging from 750 words (2 pages) to 2000 words (8 pages)
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Participation in class discussion
|Instructor(s): Crosby,Christina Times: ..T.R.. 02:50PM-04:10PM; Location: CRT285; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: 0||JR major: 0|| || |
|Seats Available: -3||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 0||JR non-major: 1||SO: 13||FR: 1|