English R1A

The Power of I: Literary Constructions of the Self

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2010 Bednarska, D.
MWF 2-3 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Mary Karr, The Liar’s Club; Eli Clare, Exile & Pride; Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit; Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; Diane Hacker, Rules for Writers. (Some texts may be added later.)


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 and poetry.  We will examine how different choices made by the author construct specific understandings of who the author (or narrator) is and the story which they are telling.  Students may be asked to reflect on these issues through small in-class creative writing assignments if time permits.

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. This course fulfills the first half of the university’s R&C requirement.

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