• Fall 2015 Types of Literature Syllabus

    Brooke Carlson (see profile)
    TM The Teaching of Literature
    Culture--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    npm17, Cultural studies
    Permanent URL:
    “You taught me language, and my profit on ‘t Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language!” (The Tempest, I.ii.362-4). What does a home mean to you? Have you left it? How did you get there? Would you go back? Starting with the foundational travel narrative in Western literature, Homer’s The Odyssey, we’ll journey across time and the page through texts invested in home and the journey (there and back). We’ll also be asking why we write, or what it means to write. Shakespeare will take us from the Classics into the English Renaissance. In The Tempest we have the opportunity to explore drama for the stage that is both about the estranged home and the process of writing, or crafting art. Leaping ahead into American literature, we will read Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, as an example of the memoir and the power of the written word. Douglass asks where his home should be, as well as how he might get there. The memoir will lead us into the novel, and Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers. Yamanaka offers up a novel about growing up and finding oneself, part of which involves finding oneself at home. We launch into the short story close to home, with Kristiana Kahakauwila’s This Is Paradise: Stories, a collection that asks all sorts of questions about home, the possibility of departure and return, as well as identity and knowing. Part of what is at stake in this class is a sampling of genre, kind, or type, and the way by which writers opt to craft narrative. We start with epic poetry, delve into the early modern stage, slip into memoir and rhetoric, wrestle with the novel, and close with the short story. This is a student-centered course. You must participate to learn. I emphasize participation, including listening, lecture, group discussion, small group discussion, and workshopping.
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