English R1A

Reading and Composition: Characters

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2016 Wilson, Evan
MWF 2-3 222 Wheeler

Book List

Conrad, Joseph: Lord Jim; Fagles, Robert (trans.): The Iliad; Graff, Gerald: They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Pinsky, Robert: The Inferno of Dante

Other Readings and Media

A course reader


We tend to take it for granted that literary works have characters. But what is a character, and what is its relation to a real-world human? What are the stakes of that relationship? Our readings, which range in time from ancient Greece to almost the present day, suggest that answers may vary widely. This course is dedicated to exploring the history of characterization as an aspect of meaning-making in both conventionally literary works and in nonfiction, where “characters” play a key role in description and argumentation.

Along the way on our journey through different kinds of character personhood, you will be honing your ability to write and think critically in an academic setting, regardless of your major. Over the course of the semester, you will learn how to move from an interesting question, to a compelling argument, to a successful paper. 

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