Reading Literature: Coming To America
For just over a month between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, the United States Federal Government shut down because Congress and the President could not come to an agreement about appropriations for funding a border wall. What can literature tell us about domestic crises generated by foreign policy decisions such as the recent government shutdown? How does literature help us to understand migration to the United States?
The Atlantic says literature makes us more human; Lifehacker.com says it teaches us how to see the bigger picture; Time Magazine says it makes us smarter and nicer. By reading novels about people from other countries coming to America, this course works toward all these things and more: to teach students how reading and studying literature is not only pleasurable, but can improve their reading and critical thinking skills. We will work to answer questions such as how does literature communicate about divisive issues such as immigration. In what ways does literature address the divisive realities of our present, such as who gets to be American? And how can literature help us to understand the local and global implications of something like a shutdown of the federal government?
This course is also diversity intensive and thus centers the literature and experiences of underrepresented groups — non-white immigrants and refugees — in a manner that cultivates students’ ability to communicate effectively about and with communities of varied backgrounds, cultures, and points of view.
Students who take this course will be able to:
1. DEFINE some of the major conventions of fiction.
2. EXPLAIN how conventions of fiction work together to communicate meaning about specific contexts, people, and cultures.
3. DEDUCE and DIFFERENTIATE a variety of conventions of fiction.
4. DEMONSTRATE their knowledge and understanding of how some of the major conventions of fiction work together to communicate meaning about specific contexts, people, and cultures.
5. DEVELOP a creative project that demonstrates their knowledge about how some of the major conventions of fiction work together to communicate meaning about specific contexts, people, and
In addition to the above outcomes, students in the honors section will be able to:
6. EVALUATE the arguments made by others about one of the novels we will read.
Section 01 MW 12:00-12:50 AGR 2-06
Section 01A F 12:00-12:50 A&S 203
Section 01B F 12:00-12:50 LAF E3509 (Honors)
Section 01C F 12:00-12:50 PHYS 104