English | INTRODUCTION TO WRITING AND THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
L141 | 1978 | Hesford
Topic: "Literature and Violence"
Lecture Section: 1978 2:30-3:20 TR
This course will focus on representations of violence in twentieth-century
American literature and contemporary culture. We will focus on four
prominent themes: 1) Violence toward Women and Women's Resistance; 2) Racial
Coding of Violence; 3) Narratives of Captivity and War across Generations;
4) Violence, Language, and Education. We will read short stories, novels,
essays, autobiographies, and poetry that take as their subject gender, race,
social class and the politics of interpersonal violence, historical trauma
and violence, and violence in our schools and communities. In terms of the
latter, we will explore the relationship between hate speech and hate acts,
silencing in the classroom, lethal labels, among other pedagogical topics.
Our project will be to track how particular historical moments, conventions
of genre, and different audiences shape various representations of violence.
We will employ a case-study approach to each theme and look at literary and
visual representations as well as related critical, historical, and
The course will meet twice a week in large lecture and twice a week in
smaller discussion sections. Course requirements will include weekly
reading responses (1 page), 4-5 short essays, and a final essay exam.
Tentative list of authors: Gloria Anzaldua, Margaret Atwood, Sandra
Cisneros, Janet Campbell Hale, bell hooks, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jonathan
Kozol, Toni Morrison, Janice Mirikitani, Gloria Naylor, Sharon Olds,
Michael Omi, Cynthia Ozick, Sylvia Plath, Jane Smiley, John Edgar Wideman,
Alice Walker, Cornel West, Richard Wright, and Malcolm X, among others.