This first year writing course will focus on displaced populations that have been forced to move from their homeland: refugees, exiles, asylum seekers, migrants all find themselves in a situation of living "in between." Their lives are set in-between various borders, geographical, cultural, and psychological, creating different experiences of identity, ethnicity, nationality, language, history, memory, and home. Students will analyze various literary texts, essays, and short documentaries related to the topic of displacement. We will read sections from the novels What is the What by Dave Eggers, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, Slow Man by Coetzee and Arabesques by Anton Shammas; articles from the New York Times and watch Which Way Home by Rebecca Cammisa.
In focusing on these questions, the course will introduce students to methods of close reading, critical thinking, and argumentative writing; students will also have an opportunity to do some creative writing to position narratives of displacement in the context of their own cultural or family experience.
Course requirements include: regular readings, essays and rewrites, and a longer final paper.
Students will work closely with peers and the instructor to develop research skills and complex, analytic, well-supported arguments that matter in academic context.