E 314L • Banned Books and Novel Ideas
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
This course introduces undergraduates to the English major using censorship and freedom of speech as its organizing themes. We will read works that have been banned at one time or another, and works that discuss the ramifications of censorship. As we explore the controversies around these works, we will learn more about how societies assess the merit of a literary work, and how authors and readers engage in complex negotiations over religious, sexual, and political mores.
"Banned Books and Novel Ideas" is intended to prepare students for college-level literary studies. By the end of the course, students will have learned to close read texts to better appreciate the power and flexibility of the English language; to use various modes of literary criticism to interpret poems, plays, and novels; and to write critically about literature and culture.
3 formal essays, 1000-2000 words each 70%
Annotated bibliography 10%
Homework and reading quizzes 10%
Poetry memorization 10%
Regular attendance is expected, and excessive absences will affect the final course grade.
John Milton, Areopagitica, Paradise Lost, Book 9
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
A course packet will include critical essays pertaining to the primary works.