Integrating Literature and Writing Instruction: First-Year English, Humanities Core Courses

Judith H. Anderson, Christine R. Farris
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Judith H. Anderson and Christine R. Farris, colleagues at Indiana University and prominent scholars in literary studies and composition respectively, aim here to bridge the perceived division between the two disciplines. In a spirit of curricular collaboration, Integrating Literature and Writing Instruction presents an array of courses, mainly for non-English majors, that use literature in teaching first-year college students how to read, write, and think critically. Contributors teach at a range of institutions—from Research I and large state universities to small, selective colleges—and use different classroom approaches, some highly participatory and others combining lectures with small-group work. Divided into three groups, representing humanities core courses, courses that focus on literature, and courses that focus on cultural issues in relation to literature, the essays explore the use of a variety of literary texts, from Shakespeare’s sonnets to historical novels to detective fiction. Contributors offer imaginative assignments and innovative pedagogical techniques that can be adapted profitably in multiple courses and institutional contexts. The concluding section narrates the collaborative development of a course on language, metaphor, and textuality, which the editors offer as a successful model of what literature and writing instruction can accomplish together.