Welcome to Senior English! Together, we’ll undertake reading, writing, and discussions at a collegiate level. The focus for the academic year will be to develop an ability to analyze and evaluate the chronological development of literature from around the world, while enhancing a global critical consciousness of identity, language, class, and culture by learning to deeply read the word, and the world. Just as we can get better at reading the deep structures and meanings of books, we can get better at “reading” ourselves, our positions in the dynamics of knowledge and power, the historical forces that have brought us to this place together, and the culture’s narratives about who we are and where we belong.
The literary odyssey that we will follow to track the human condition will include works from various historical eras and represent authors from around the globe. We’ll read multicultural texts, write extensive papers, and discuss books every day that will grow from your ideas on the readings we’ve done together. Simultaneously, we’ll examine the “history of ideas,” to trace how humans have thought about themselves and their world over time—and how historical, political, cultural and economic developments have given shape to literature. We’ll discover that our fundamental notions about life have historical roots, which lie very different constructions of the universe, and our place within it.