Introduction to Literary Study: Banned Books

Course Number: ENGL 10
Prerequisites: Writing 2
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Second half of GE Area Requirement A
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 10
Quarter: Summer B 2015
Instructor: Chow, Jeremy
Day(s): MTWR
Time: 1230-155
Location: HSSB 1210
Description:

This course is reading, academic writing, and creative writing intensive. 

English 10 intends to introduce students to all of the accouterment of literary study, while exploring the vast and plural genres that constitute our understanding of “literature.” Together, we will question, problematize, envision, revision, conceptualize, analyze, and interact with genres, texts, characters, forms, conflicts, situations, and countless other entities innate to the study of literature. Through these explorations, we must reason for ourselves the value of said skills and texts, and access the larger significance of these works in addition to our own work.

In this course, we will collectively evaluate the limits of censorship in literature. Banned texts are thrilling in their illicitness, emotionally rigorous in their explorations, and often graphic in their narratives. We, then, must ask ourselves: why texts are banned; who bans texts; what power dynamics are innate in such censorship; how censorship varies by genre; how censorship aligns with racial, social, gendered, creed-based prejudices; what are the ramifications of censorship; and what pleasures exist in banning, to pose only a few questions. These questions will frame our discussions throughout the course and lend themselves as springboards for both academic and creative writing assignments. 

Authors will include: Margaret Atwood, Alison Bechdel, John Cleland, Allen Ginsberg, Vladimir Nabokov, and Oscar Wilde.