ENGL 1616W-001: Major Works of English & American Literature

Instructor: Veronica Makowsky

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011

Who Am I? Am I the same person I was yesterday? What will I be tomorrow? To what extent do I control my identity and to what extent is it imposed upon me by my historical and cultural contexts? To what extent is it formed by my family and the relationships between and among family members? We will explore these questions about identity and change as we read and discuss major works of poetry, drama, and fiction. In the first half of the course, we will survey some important British works from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century, including Hamlet and selections from our anthology, The Norton Introduction to Literature (Shorter, Twelfth Edition), as well as Robert Louis Stevenson’s brief novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), interspersed with one or two twentieth-century American plays that focus on family dynamics. In the second half of the course, we will concentrate on modernism and on American ethnic literature, including Julie Otsuka’s short novel When the Emperor Was Divine. Students will write and revise four short papers. Class participation is essential and will include almost daily in-class writing assignments. The course is intended as an introduction to reading and interpreting English and American literature with no background required other than having met the first-year writing requirement.

(CA 1, W)