English R1B

Reading and Composition: The Power of I: Literary Constructions of the Self

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Spring 2011 Bednarska, Dominica
MWF 3-4 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Mary Karr, The Liar’s Club; Eli Clare, Exile & Pride; Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit; Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; Diane Hacker, Rules for Writers; David Henry Hwang, M Butterfly; Thea Hillman, Intersex (for lack of a better word)


What are the different ways that we come to understand first person narration?  How are different selves created and chosen through texts and textual choices?  How do issues of memory and claims to authenticity affect the way that we read different kinds of texts?  This course will focus on how the self is constructed in literary non-fiction but will also incorporate fiction, poetry and drama.  We will examine how different choices made by the author construct specific understandings of who the author (or narrator) is and the story which they are telling.  The first half of the course will focus on memory and the self and the second half on authenticity in relation to identity and the body. 

In addition to exploring how the self emerges through texts you will also be developing as a writer and researcher. RIB is intended to build upon the writing and argumentation skills developed in RIA, while integrating effective research skills. You will be writing several short assignments based on the weekly reading that will lead to the development of a larger research project that you design. We will address thesis construction, developing and sustaining an argument, dealing with counterevidence, and organization as well as grammar, syntax and style. You will be asked to develop and apply these skills both to your own work and the work of others.

Back to Semester List