ENGLISH 319 - Literature and Social Change
Fall 2018, Section 001 - What Difference Can a Story Make?
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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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


Sure, pop culture is fun. It’s great to watch an Academy Award winner, read a best seller. But stories that sell shape our values and beliefs, change how we act and what we do – often in powerful ways. Given the power of what’s popular, we better understand how that power works. Let’s read some best-selling books, watch a few Academy Award-winning movies, and see what we can figure out.

We’ll use as our arenas for inquiry some of the most significant civil rights movements in our lifetimes as we read and watch popular books and movies. Our primary aim will be to figure out, in fairly concrete ways, how stories alter people’s beliefs about people and the worlds in which we live. Best-selling books likely will be March, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ten Little Indians, and Motherless Brooklyn, and movies likely will be Academy Award winners Selma, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The King’s Speech.

Course Requirements:

Work for the course includes two short engagements (approximately 2 pages each) and one or two essays (5-8 pages each). Students also will design their own pathway through part of the course by, for example, going to a campus event, taking notes during class for our course archive, adding some background information for our texts on our Canvas site, writing an extra short engagement, and/or similar activities, based on students’ individual strengths and interests.

Intended Audience:

No background knowledge is required for this course. We welcome non-English majors as well as English majors, and people with backgrounds in history, politics, or activism as well as people just taking this course to fill a requirement. Great texts; compelling and important questions.

Class Format:

Lecture and discussion


ENGLISH 319 - Literature and Social Change
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
9/4/18 - 12/11/18

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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