Contemporary American Literature (Literature Elective; US)

Linda Johnson

Grades 11–12

Students consider how authors juggle the “politics of identity” in order to make their works compelling and critical. Through study of genre and content, this course interrogates the methods writers use to push boundaries and critique such constructs as privilege and power. Coursework includes expository and creative writing assignments, oral presentations, and personal essays. Writing assignments focus on the construction of strong, well-supported, compelling arguments which interlace close reading with theory and self-exploration. Daily coursework is largely discussion based, designed to stretch students beyond mere analysis of the stories they read and toward a greater understanding of how the texts operate as artifacts of culture. All the while, students explore their own identities and how they intersect with those identities explored in the texts.

Texts: 

  Bulter, Kindred

  Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

  Wolfe, The Colored Museum

  Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

Summer Reading: 

  Lahiri, The Namesake

  • Humanities/Language Arts

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