ENGL 149
First-Hand America Fall 2016 Division I; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as AMST149 / ENGL149
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Gonzo journalism, the nonfiction novel, literary journalism, the “new new journalism”: the study of American culture has thrived in the able hands of writers, reformers and amateur anthropologists. This course is an introduction to American writing and culture through the eyes of extraordinary witnesses who work as public intellectuals, addressing a readership that reaches beyond the university. Through essays, films and music we will track the documentary impulse from coast to coast: from Ferguson, Baltimore, Miami, Watts, Denver, Harlem, Chicago, Compton and Sing-Sing prison to the wilds of Alaska and rural Georgia; from mass demonstrations to the most intimate, bedside revelations. How have writers and artists given their audiences tools for understanding power, privilege, and difference in America? This course contributes to the College’s Exploring Diversity Initiative by reading the work of witnesses in their literary, social, political, cultural, and historical contexts in order to understand the sources of their beliefs and actions and the effects of their words. Artists include: Jane Addams, James Baldwin, Charles Burnett, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ted Conover, Angela Davis, Joan Didion, Zora Neale Hurston, Kendrick Lamar, Audre Lourde, John McPhee and Jack Kerouac.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1013
Requirements/Evaluation: multiple short essays and revisions, peer-editing and class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level English course
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives;

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