This course surveyed American Literature from late 19th century to present. Our theme was “America from the Margins.” This course asked students to think about how America appears from its various margins. Accordingly, we read authors who were marginalized by race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as a few authors who looked at America from outside its borders. During class, we emphasized close reading, exploring how seemingly innocuous details can pack big implications. We also spent time placing the literature in its various historical, political, and cultural contexts.
What My Students Say
“Let me start by saying the class was great. It might be an exaggeration to say it changed my life, or perhaps it’s a truism, but I genuinely feel like better person, like the dial of empathy has been cranked up a few notches.”
“This course has taught me a lot about close reading and made me read more than I would usually do. I feel like the part I mostly got engaged in is when we started to read Stephen Crane “ Maggie, A girl of the streets” I felt like I was engaged in this because of my obsession with like that era when women had little to rights just because it in how men actually treated women and how some men still feel this way today.”
“The moment I felt most engaged in the class, would probably have to be during the discussion for the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao… I really have to say that the most engaging part of this class had to be the fact that we had actual discussions. This class would have not been the same had every class been sitting and listening to a lecture. If that had been the case, I doubt I would have felt engaged at all. Thanks to the discussions, I can only think of a few times that I did not feel like I was submerged in the material.”
“I enjoyed this class much more than I thought I would. I went in already a bit intimidated. American History specifically, was never a course I was too fond of and the large list of required texts for the class only made it that more off-putting. However, most if not all, of the texts were very captivating. I especially became interested in the story of Pecola in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison… I could already see how some of the social problems faced in the book were still faced today, but in that instance, everything became so real to me. In all honesty, I probably would’ve never picked up this book on my own. But I’m so grateful that it was introduced to me through this class.”