American Prose (Excluding Fiction)

L360 — Spring 2022

Dana Anderson
Days and Times
1:15 - 2:30p TR (3 CR)
Course Description

Topic: The Arguing ‘I’: The Rhetoric and Poetics of the Personal in Contemporary Literature

Western culture has never felt more saturated with what we might call “the personal”: narratives of individual experiences both grand and mundane, disclosures of intimacies that both shock and enthrall us simultaneously, and the visual documentation of our every waking moment, be it selfied, snapchatted, or streamed. We will treat this explosion of the person-made-public as a call to reflection as we explore both how selves are created in language and why these selves are created as they are. Canonical figures such as Montaigne, Augustine, and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz will be pushed into proximity with Tik Tok and with million-subscriber YouTube channels of unboxing videos.  Assignments will be wide-ranging, culminating in a student project of first-person proportions.