In this first year writing course, we will examine work about family and kinship: (in)famous fathers, doting mothers, feuding siblings. In conjunction with the LSA theme semester on “Translation,” we will also consider families of languages to look not just at kinship between relatives, but among cultures. Whom do we call family? What does it mean to be your “brother’s keeper”? To tell a friend “she’s like a sister” to you? To treat someone “as if she were your own mother”?
We will work with texts from diverse contexts to grapple with these questions and to inform our own writing. Beginning with “Cinderella” and concluding with Oedipus Rex, we will look at depictions of family across time and space. Additional course materials may include the television show Modern Family, short fiction by Clarice Lispector, film, music, poetry, and non-fiction essays.
There will be graded and ungraded writing tasks, including four formal papers ranging in length from 3-8 pages, informal response assignments, and peer reviews.
This is a discussion-based course, and we will spend much of our time in a workshop environment, talking about each other’s writing. Over the course of the academic term, we will focus, as writers, on the creation of complex, analytic, well-supported arguments that matter in a variety of academic contexts.