Writing and Inquiry: Coming of Age

(spring 2016 calendar)

COURSE THEME

Our course theme will be “Coming of Age.” Everyone has encountered coming of age stories—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Sandlot, and even Harry Potter fall into this category. The details are different, but the underlying structure, the transition from youth to adulthood, endures. In this class we’ll be reading, writing, and thinking about our cultural fascination with coming of age stories. We’ll analyze representations of childhood and adolescence, consider how nostalgia, epiphany, and universality influence the writing and reading of coming of age stories, and investigate how differences of gender, race, nationality, class, and sexuality inflect different coming of age stories.

The course will mostly follow this structure: On Mondays, we’ll discuss a short story; on Wednesdays, we’ll discuss a nonfictional essay or article, and on Fridays, we’ll do writing workshops of various kinds. We’ll have four major essays in this class, each of which will be revised. But you should also expect to write shorter pieces regularly, both inside and outside of class.

ASSIGNMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS:

  • Critical Reflection Essay: 150
  • Textual Analysis Essay: 150
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay: 150
  • Source Integration Essay: 150
  • Reading Journal: 100
  • Pop Quizzes: 80
  • Discussion Contributions: 100
  • Writing Mechanics Presentation: 20
  • Final Exam: 100

Total: 1000

COURSE SCHEDULE:

All readings should be completed prior to the class in which they are listed, and students should bring the readings to class with them.

  1/20

Introductions

1/22

DIAGNOSTIC ESSAY (in class)

Read the syllabus

CHILDHOOD
1/25

Junot Diaz, “Invierno” (course pack)

1/27

Junot Diaz, “The Money”

1/29

Paul Lynch, “The Sixth Paragraph: A Re-Vision of the Essay”

2/1

Karen Russell, “Haunting Olivia”

2/3

David Sedaris, “Us and Them”

2/5

CRITICAL REFLECTION ROUGH DRAFT DUE IN CLASS

Peer review & revision workshop

2/8

NoViolet Bulawayo, “Hitting Budapest”

2/10

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story” (transcript)

2/12

CRITICAL REFLECTION FINAL DRAFT DUE

Mike Bunn, “How to Read Like a Writer”

2/15

ZZ Packer, “Brownies” (course pack)

2/17

Margo Jefferson, “Scenes from a Life in Negroland”

2/19

Joseph Moxley, “Literary Criticism”

ADOLESCENCE
2/22

Karen Russell, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” (course pack)

2/24

John Oliver, “Standardized Testing” (Last Week Tonight)

 

2/26

TEXTUAL ANALYSIS ROUGH DRAFT DUE

Peer review & revision workshop

2/29

The Revisionaries (watch in class)

Individual meetings

3/2

The Revisionaries (finish and discuss)

Individual meetings

3/4

TEXTUAL ANALYSIS FINAL DRAFT DUE

No class; individual meetings

3/7

SPRING BREAK

3/9

SPRING BREAK

3/11

SPRING BREAK

3/14

Alejandro Zambra, “Reading Comprehension: Text No. 1”

3/16

Temitayo Fagbenle, “Online ‘Shaming’ a New Level of Cyberbullying for Girls”

3/18

Laura Bolin Carroll, “Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps Toward Rhetorical Analysis”

3/21

Sofia Samatar, “Selkie Stories are for Losers”

3/23

Sarah Boxer, “Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?”

3/25

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ROUGH DRAFT DUE IN CLASS

Peer review and revision workshop

3/28

Sherman Alexie, “Indian Education”

3/30

Jose Antonio Vargas, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”

4/1

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS FINAL DRAFT DUE

ZZ Packer, “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”

COLLEGE
4/4

Library visit (AV2)

4/6

Ann Patchett, “‘The Love Between the Two Women is Not Normal’”

4/8

Cynthia R. Haller, “Walk, Talk, Cook, Eat: A Guide to Using Sources”

4/11

Junot Diaz, “Monstro” (first half)

4/13

Junot Diaz, “Monstro” (second half)

4/15

Kyle D. Stedman, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources”

4/18

Jennifer Egan, “Out of Body” (course pack)

4/20

David Sedaris, “Twelve Moments in the Life of an Artist” (course pack)

4/22

SOURCE INTEGRATION ESSAY ROUGH DRAFT DUE IN CLASS

Peer review and revision workshop

4/25

Practice exam

 

4/27

Rabbit Proof Fence (watch in class)

4/29

SOURCE INTEGRATION ESSAY FINAL DRAFT DUE

Rabbit Proof Fence (finish and discuss)

5/2

Last day of class

Course evaluations; review

5/4

 

5/6

 

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