ENGL 113 Fall 2014 Banned Books: The Question of Access (W)

While the advent of the "digital age" may appear to have relegated the idea of "banned books" in America to the status of a relic of a more easily policed past, we have by no means exhausted the questions that the idea of banning/unbanning books was meant to settle. In thinking about what the idea of a "banned book" means now, we will explore the qualities of what made literature a potentially threatening mode of discourse in the first place. Why has literature aroused such prolonged fear and suspicion? Does literature, in fact, provide access to something legitimately dangerous? Course readings will be drawn from a range of historical periods; authors may include household names such as Plato, Dante, Milton, and Woolf as well as more experimental texts, including those of Clarice Lispector, André Breton, and Alison Bechdel. By investigating what knowledge literature provides access to, we might find that an attention to the dangers of the literary restores for us what literature really is and why we read it.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: participation in class discussion, presentation, in-class writing, three response analyses (3-4 pages with one revision), one longer paper (8-10 pages)
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1963
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
ENGL 113 - 01 (F) SEM Banned Books (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Christopher Taylor
TR 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Griffin 5 1963
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