Writing About Literature: Self & Other (online)

Self & Other
English 2100
Section 02
Samuel Cohen
Course Description

The purpose of this course is to offer students the opportunity to learn more about how to read, talk, and write about literature. How we’ll do that:

  • We’ll read poems, short stories, and essays loosely collected around the theme of Self & Other—literary works that consider how we know ourselves and others, how we relate to others as individuals and in groups as small as families and neighborhoods and as large as nations and cultures, and how that knowledge and relation leads to the ways in which we treat each other.
  • We’ll do some extra reading about different approaches to literary texts—approaches through attention to selfhood, to society, and to literary form.
  • We’ll practice different ways of responding to literature—discussion and short written response, arguing and presenting, creating and critiquing—and we’ll work on the nuts and bolts of doing literary research and writing a literary critical essay.

The idea is that, in the end, you will be better equipped to understand and so think about, talk about, and write about literature in classes and in your life outside of and after school. If you are also better able to think and talk about the ways people think about themselves and get along with each other, even better.