Students learn the fundamental questions to ask in order to analyze visual and written material. Students interrogate ideas, images, and texts within their rhetorical and historical contexts. They learn various tools for analyzing the structure of arguments and logical strategies.
This course explores critical thinking skills within the context of gender equality. Throughout the semester, we trace the argument for gender equality over time. The readings are organized into 2 units: The first unit contextualizes the historical debate of gender equality, and the second explores contemporary approaches of the debates, for example from intersectional, transgender, and masculinist approaches, as well as across disciplines of science, technology, and law. We will examine how various stakeholders, including writers, critical theorists, political and business leaders, and pop culture figures, have debated whether sex, gender, desire, and identity are are biologically inevitable, fixed, or stable, or whether they are social and cultural processes. Reading across disciplinary boundaries, we will consider the construction, negotiation, recognition, and revision of genders and sexualities. We will also question the arguments and possibilities for differently organized gender and sexual practices for both men and women. Readings and visual materials for the course include:
This course engages themes unique to Latinx Literature: border, mestiza, and hybrid identities, the incommensurability of cross-cultural communication, the consequences of cultural appropriation, sexism, and racial shame, and the possibility of an inclusionary American identity. Our approach centers the lived realities of gender, sexuality, and race, and foregrounds queer and nonnormative perspectives as we deconstruct machismo and patriarchal culture. We explore a selection of texts from the South American, Chicana, Dominican, and Cuban traditions, including:
A note on the move to Distance Learning: Due to COVID-19 in the Spring of 2020, this course moved to online distance learning. After checking in with the students of the class, I made the following adjustments: (1) creating small "reading groups" to supplement full class meetings; (2) incorporated digital tools for social reading; (3) transitioned to asynchronous assignments. Together, these changes work to maximize student engagement within the new online format. Read a full description of the distance learning plans here.
With an emphasis on close reading and analytical writing, English 220 encourages the interpretive skills necessary for critical response to literature that is firmly grounded in the text. The course allows students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the aesthetic qualities of literature and how these inform ongoing cultural, social, and historical dialogue and experience. Key texts include:
Please visit the Course Website to see the Fall 2019 iteration of the course.