English R1A

Reading and Composition: War and Literary Form

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2007 Marguerite Nguyen
MWF 3-4 109 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

All Quiet on the Western Front

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Elizabeth Bishop, selected poems

Assia Djebar, selected works

Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Le Minh Khue, �Tony D.�

Herman Melville, �Benito Cereno�

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


Alfred Lord Tennyson, �Maud�

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse"


"This course will explore the connections between war and literary form, with a general focus on 20 th century texts written in English. We will consider how writers represent war in explicit and implicit ways, how various literary genres set up different expectations for the representation of war, how social and historical conflicts during wartime subvert conventions of literary genre, and how issues of race, gender, and class underpin these formal subversions. Investigating texts ranging from Tennyson�s poem �Maud� (1855) to journalistic representations of 21 st century wars, we will consider how war and literary genre interweave in the texts under study and how genres both assimilate and become assimilated by the imperatives of wartime narration.

Our critical approach to the texts will interlace with our own critical approaches to writing. We will compose essays gradually, beginning with questions that emerge from our initial responses to the texts and working our way toward effective writing and argumentation. A series of in-class workshops will be held to assist students with brainstorming ideas, developing theses, and drafting and revising critical essays. Students will also exchange drafts of their essays in order to offer and receive feedback. (Please note: book list is subject to change.)"

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