ENGL 124
Family Matters Fall 2009
Division I Writing Skills
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Class Details

“Anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life” (Flannery O’Connor). A course designed to explore the representations of family in recent American literature. Family is our first community, and in the literature of family one commonly accepted and undisputed convention emerges: parents and children are morally bound to one another. These bonds of blood, both liberating and limiting, have always been a literary convention. In this course, we will examine recent American fiction that explores such bonds. What do such narratives claim we want from our families? What do such narratives claim we’re willing to do to get it? Have recent narratives developed particular and characteristic strategies for approaching this topic? And are there importantly particularizing aspects of the American family? Authors to be considered may include: Rick Moody, Junot Diaz, Andre Dubus, Cormac McCarthy, Lorrie Moore, Gish Jen, Adam Haslett, Grace Paley, and Jonathan Franzen.
The Class: Format: discussion/seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1619
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation and 20 pages of writing in the form of frequent short papers; students will also be responsible for teaching one class on a published work
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills

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