English R1B

Reading and Composition: Searching for Answers: Coming-of-Age Novels into the 21st Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
18 Spring 2020 Baker-Gibbs, Ariel
MW 9-10:30 305 Wheeler


To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf (1927); Oreo, Fran Ross (1974); Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006); Long Division, Kiese Laymon (2013)

Short critical theory excerpts will be distributed by the instructor.

Who are you? What are you looking for? The coming-of-age novel, or the Bildungsroman, professes to be an explanation of how a character or a person comes to be, but really marks the constant search for ourselves, our vision, and more often than not, our art. We will be reading four novels from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that play with and break this form in several ways. We will be dealing with creative and dynamic presentations of subjectivity, gender, queerness, race, time, history, literature, form, and identity.

This is a writing-intensive course that teaches critical analysis and college-level writing skills. We will focus on close reading, argument structure, and effective expression, with the goal of producing appropriately contextualized arguments that engage with existing critical conversation. Students will be doing regular writing exercises, and expected to write, revise, and workshop together three papers of increasing length over the course of the semester.

(Please note the changes in the instructor and the course content of this section of English R1B [as of October 21].)

Back to Semester List