English R1A

The Power of I: Literary Constructions of the Self

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Fall 2009 Bednarska, Dominika
Bednarska, Dominika
MWF 2-3 123Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Mary Karr, The Liar’s Club; Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit; Eli Claire, Exile & Pride; Diane Hacker, Rules for Writers; a course reader


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 popular news media. We will examine how different choices made by the author construct specific understandings of both who the author or narrator is and the story being told. Through frequent writing assignments students will be asked to reflect on these issues in relation to the texts and their own lives.

This course is aimed at developing reading and writing skills in a variety of genres. Students will learn and practice strategies for all stages of the writing process, from prewriting to revision, and also work on grammar, syntax, and style. Course assignments will include a minimum of 32 pages of writing divided among a number of short essays, at least two of which will be revised.

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