English R1A

Reading and Composition: Exiles and Everyday Life

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2020 Khan, Mehak Faisal
MWF 11-12 35 Evans

Book List

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: Americanah; Anand, Mulk Raj: Untouchable; Ferrante, Elena: My Brilliant Friend; Hanif, Mohammed: A Case of Exploding Mangoes; Kondo, Marie: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Other Readings and Media

Gone Home (Fulbright)

Other readings will be made available on bCourses.


“Even intellectuals who are lifelong members of society can, in a manner of speaking, be divided into insiders and outsiders: those on the one hand who belong fully to the society as it is, who flourish in it without an overwhelming sense of dissonance or dissent, those who can be called yea-sayers; and on the other hand, the nay-sayers, the individuals at odds with their society and therefore outsiders and exiles so far as privileges, power, and honors are concerned.” 

- Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual

How do we go about leading life? When are we most ourselves? This course explores different theories of living life, and the ways in which “normal” life might be stressed, strained, stretched or even broken under adverse conditions. We will consider the ways in which bodies live lives differently—what Edward Said might call “intellectual exiles—bodies that are non/human, gendered, raced, queered, dis/abled, casteized, de/colonized. This course will look to theorists, philosophers, and social collectives like Sara Ahmed, Michel De Certeau, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Edward Said, and the Situationist International; games, films, novels and poems might include Gone Home (Fulbright), Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes, Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, Queer Eye, and The Great British Bake-Off.

One of the goals of this course is to strengthen close reading and critical writing skills; to that end, there will be frequent short writing assignments, and in-class presentations on the critical texts we will be reading. One longer final paper will be required for this course. 

Texts are subject to change; please do not buy them until after the first week of class.

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