English R1A

Reading and Composition: (Un)Belonging Bodies and Citizenship

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2020 Cho, Jennifer
MWF 12-1 174 Barrows

Book List

Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye; Okada, John: No-No Boy; Vuong, Ocean: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Other Readings and Media

Film: Jordan Peele's Get Out

Course reader (working list): select poems by Walt Whitman, excerpts from Walden Pond, by Henry Thoreau, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Betty Friedan's The Femininine Mystique, Gloria Anzaldua's La Mestiza/The Borderlands, Claudia Rankine's Citizen


Our bodies—even if we might claim them as our own—are far from neutral, as they carry embedded signals, texts, and even silences that reflect our multiple social positionings. This course explores narratives of embodiment, considering how bodies can reflect certain ideals of the nation, whether through self-desire, discipline, or forced submission. In particular, we will untangle the normative paradigms of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion that feed into the American imagination, while finding openings for resistance, alternate expressons of identity, and community.

In addition to exploring these questions, students will set out to accomplish a wide range of writing objectives with the intent of reaching different audiences. We will examine how and why we value effective writing, while practicing rhetorical appeals, close (re)reading of written and visual narratives, critical analysis of primary sources, and original argumentation supported by textual evidence. Writing assignments will include regular short responses to readings in addition to a series of formal writing assignments that invite peer review and revision. 

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