English R1A

Reading and Composition: Making and Unmaking the Self-Made (Wo)Man

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2005 Liza Kramer
T Th 3:30-5 204 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography

Linda Brent (Harriet Jacobs), Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men

Richard Rodriguez, The Hunger of Memory

Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller

+ a xeroxed Reader "


In this course we will work to hone your analytical reading, writing, and thinking skills by examining stories -- including your own -- of self-made men (and women), as well as alternatives to, and critiques of, this archetypal American story. To what extent is it possible to be self-made? How do forces of privilege and exclusion shape the stories we hear? How might the story be revised by someone who has 'made it' despite having been subject to exclusion and/or exploitation? How might it be revised to reveal a more communal view of what it takes to survive? We will discuss how the writer's social position -- his or her race, class, gender -- as well as her/his language and choice of literary form affect the story s/he tells.

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