ENGL 113
Banned Books: The Question of Access Fall 2014
Division I Writing Skills
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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, AndrĂ© 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.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1963
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
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)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills

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