English R1A

Reading and Composition: Exile and Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2004 Marguerite Nguyen
MWF 11-12 106 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Brodsky, J.: selected poems

James, H.: selected stories

Lahiri, J.: selected stories from Interpreter of Maladies

Okri, B.: The Famished Road

Rushdie, S.: Midnight?s Children

Truong, M.: The Book of Salt"


In this course, we will examine the theme of exile in 20th century literature in English. Exile has become a subject of much interest, even considered by some critics to be the norm of contemporary existence. Yet its definitions vary widely, and one of the goals of this course will be to unpack what might constitute exile and how it has been represented in literature, both thematically and formally. In addition to examining the literature, we will critique the concept of exile itself and consider how the term has been used in both productive and problematic ways. 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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