English 111 E: Composition Literature
(Bodies That Are Our Own and Not Our Own)
In this writing course, students will practice how to read and think critically with literary and cinematic texts, which will eventually help them develop and produce writings in different academic contexts. This practice will eventually lead students to being aware of the strategies, audience, complexity, intensity level, and goal of their writing, not to speak of certain writing conventions and decorum in style, tone, and structure. With these writing skills and experiences, students are expected to become a confident, thoughtful, and critical academic writer.
The main theme we will read, think of, and write about is "Bodies That Are Our Own and Not Our Own." For some people, specific features of bodies such as tongue (language), gender, skin color, sexuality, and the possession of certain body parts are perceived as the mark of being "proper" human. On the other hand, a number of theorists that were influenced by post-structuralism believe that our bodies are intelligible and accountable only discursively; materialization of our bodies comes only after the discursive recognition of that substance or ambiguously called body something. Whether they are unchangeable ground for being human or contingent constructs that are affected/created by discourse, our bodies are the locus of various social issues of our times such as racism, violence, discrimination, and gender inequality. In this course, we will explore how to articulate the concepts, ideas, and criticisms around those issues in academic writings.
Regarding our own bodies and the bodies of others, we might, for example, ask these questions: Are there any "proper" bodies?; Are our bodies our own?; If there are normative and non-normative bodies, then to what extent can the norm define and constitute us?; Are there any illegal bodies?; How do we define and recognize disability?; Why are the "non-normative" forms and shapes treated as disabled?; Why are certain bodies forced to live precarious lives? With these questions in mind, we will learn cooperatively how to relate our lives and the lives of others (or the Others) to critical thinking and writing practice. Weekly topics will cover:
1. Non-human Bodies (Cyborg, Animals, etc.)
2. Equality and Bodies before the Law
3. Aging Bodies or Bodies before Death
4. Queer, LGBT, and Other Sexually Marginalized Bodies
5. Ablebodiedness and Disabled Bodies
6. Racialized Bodies
Along with the lecture as well as in-class debates and activities, this class will be structured mostly by your own writing. Your writing will be conducted either with specific guidance or with your own creativity. In both cases, you will be prepared and backed up by the skills you will learn and the texts as well as sources you will get in class. Especially, all of the texts you will read are very good sources for your research, and might be included in the bibliography of your own writing. Each writing assignment of yours will be reviewed carefully by the instructor, and sometimes by your peers. Through this interactive and cooperative process, you will be able to revise and edit your writing more effectively. During this quarter, you are required to complete four writing assignments. And at the end of the quarter, you will submit your own portfolio electronically: you put together what you have written so far, carefully revise them, and submit it through canvas website.