ENGD60: Topics in American Prose

ENGD60: Topics in American Prose

ENGD60 with Prof. Neal Dolan

Course Name: Scholarship Kids: Self-formation through Literacy in 20th Century American Memoirs, Novels, and Short Stories

Course Description: Many prominent American writers of the twentieth century were the first person in their families, over many generations, to acquire advanced literacy. This experience, as documented in a range of remarkable memoirs, novels, and stories published unto the present, has been represented as vastly liberating, but also often acutely painful. In this course we will read a selection of such works in an effort to further our understanding of the affectively ambivalent process of socialization into the modern American-liberal symbolic. We will be especially interested in depictions of what Habermas calls “context shattering” – crisis moments in which the achievement of advanced literacy causes the “spellbinding authority” of long-established traditions to be demystified, destabilized, and perhaps transcended. 

Course Features: Black Boy by Richard Wright, Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Educated by Tara Westover


Learn more about when this course is offered by checking out the UTSC Calendar!

Interested in learning more about Professor Dolan's role in the department, or arranging a meeting? Check out his faculty profile for research and teaching interests as well as office hours availability.


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You can also check for specific D-level seminar topics or for Pre-1900 courses.