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ENGL 302 A: Critical Practice

(Re)Making History

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 9:40am - 11:50am
CDH 110A
Katherine Cummings

Additional Details:

The critical practices that we’ll examine over the course of this quarter are counterhistories in two senses of the word. First and fundamentally, they debunk common (i.e. positivist) conceptions of history as a disinterested record of “the past as it really was;” they define history as a narrative that imposes a particular meaning on the messiness of events and the complexities of human existence; they affiliate history with literature; and they affirm that historical narratives are inevitably political. Second, these counterhistories render visible the violence that such ostensible goods as the rule of law, freedom, family, and community conceal. Critical examinations of history, trauma, racism, and neoliberalism supplement late 20th and early 21st century American fiction, memoire and film. Required texts will include a course packet and the following texts: Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina; Diem’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For, Wideman’s Two Cities; Chua’s Gold by the Inch; and Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange.

Catalog Description: 
Intensive study of, and exercise in, applying important or influential interpretive practices for studying language, literature, and culture, along with consideration of their powers/limits. Focuses on developing critical writing abilities. Topics vary and may include critical and interpretive practice from scripture and myth to more contemporary approaches, including newer interdisciplinary practices. Prerequisite: minimum 2.0 in ENGL 202.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:22pm