Class Theme: “Poesy, Politics, and Power”—Examining Writers Who Impacted Their Historical Moment: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, John Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel, and your own historical socio-political selection.
Instructor: Carol Robertson
Classroom: Paccar, rm. 492, 8:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., T/Th
Office: Padelford, B5F; however, office hours will be in Odegaard 326
Office hours: Tuesday, 2-4 pm in Odegaard 326 and by appointment
Class website: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses
The shared goal of Expository Writing courses is to launch you into a successful academic experience at UW by preparing you for the rigorous demands of university writing. Since good readers make good writers, this class will be an opportunity to tune your skills in rhetorical analysis. Prepare to step back in history to examine two watershed moments in Western cultural history and the writers who significantly influenced those moments—changing the course of their times. First, we step back to examine Letter from Birmingham Jail, authored by American Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., whose writings during the volatile 1960’s are credited with hastening long-awaited changes for African Americans. Second, we consider the long poem, Absalom and Achitophel, authored by English Poet Laureate John Dryden—a literary masterpiece written during the volatile late 17th century; many believe Dryden’s skillful use of rhetoric may have not only delayed the Monmouth Rebellion, but averted yet another English Civil War. How did these writers employ their skills and awareness of audience to be game changers? In the process of examining these texts, we will develop our own skills as critical thinkers and writers. Ultimately, you will select your own historical, socio-political writing piece to explore. Our assignment sequence will consist of six short assignments and one major paper.