ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Fall 2022, Section 001 - Stories of Place
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


What does it mean to know a place?  And what do places mean, conversely, to those who identify with them or come to know their stories? Why, on meeting someone for the first time, do we so often ask (or feel tempted to ask) "Where are you from?", and why does such a seemingly simple question so often feel like a potentially fraught and weighty one? What are the stakes in ongoing debates about statues and monuments and buried histories? 

This course will explore such questions, and many others, through a wide-ranging investigation of the role of narrative in our understanding of place. We will read works from a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, and literary journalism, that have contributed to the imaginative constitution of well-known locations across the US and in other locations. And we'll consider alongside them writings from anthropology, history, and urban planning concerned with the social and cognitive processes involved in narrative placemaking. To help connect our investigations with our own lived experience, we will devote part of the course to exploring the human landscapes of the Great Lakes region through story. Students will have the opportunity to put their insights from the course into practice by developing public-facing team projects, in consultation with community partners, through the Detroit River Story.


Major Requirement: American Literature


ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

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