Eastern Illinois University Logo
English |

Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 2009  Literature and Human Values (3 Sections)

Section 002    CRN 31572
Literature and Human Values: Love, Hate, Obsession    1300-1350 MWF

Love, Hate, Obsession – fuzzy abstract concepts, difficult to define, yet some of the most powerful human experiences we can have. In this course, we will probe literary texts which examine boundaries (i.e., when does a passion turn into an obsession?), relations (i.e., what do desire, control, and power have to do with love?), categories (how is love of one’s friends different from other types of love including love of oneself, one’s body, one’s work, one’s possessions, one’s art, one’s religion), and consequences (when do loving emotions turn into hatred, adulterous acts, jealousy, divorce, fanaticism).

We will read, discuss, and write about short stories, essays, poems, and maybe a few plays. Our focus will be on language (how we write about these experiences in literature) and on gender differences (how men and women write about these experiences in different ways).

Requirements will include reading responses, two papers, and two exams. (General Education)

Section 003    CRN 31573
Literature and Human Values: Race, Age, Gender    1400-1450 MWF

In this course, we will consider various works of writers and filmmakers who wrestle with profound questions of truth, justice, equality, and identity concerning the relationships between race, age, and gender.  Course requirements: enthusiastic discussion, 2-3 papers, and midterm/final examinations. (General Education)

Section 004    CRN 37322
Literature and Human Values: Faith, Survival, Progress    1700-1815 TR

We will study and discuss a range of classic American works -- Frederick Douglass’s Narrative, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, Willa Cather’s My Antonia, William Faulkner’s Light in August, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. As we do so, we will pay particular attention to how the works represent ways characters confront and, in many cases, transcend socially imposed barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Our project invites some large questions such as the following:   What is progress? How and to what extent can literature contribute to progress? Formal requirements will include three essays of about four pages each, pop quizzes, class participation, and a final examination. (General Education)