This course will introduce students to the genre of testimonial literary discourse, or testimonio: an authentic narrative, told by a witness who is moved to narrate by the urgency of a situation (e.g., war, oppression, revolution, etc.). Emphasizing popular oral discourse, the witness portrays his or her own experience as a representative of a collective memory and identity. Truth is summoned in the cause of denouncing a present situation of exploitation and oppression or exorcising and setting aright official history. In addition to reading through important testimonial fiction in Latin American literature, students will study the social and political contexts of Latin America from which the testimonio form emerged.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
Genre courses address a single literary/cinematic genre or “kind.”-- such as tragedy, autobiography, lyric, romance, etc.-- with the purpose of teaching students to read and perform critical, formal analyses of literary, cinematic, and cultural texts. These courses help prepare students for the backbone of our curriculum: the Foundations of the English Major sequence (ENG 301-2-3).
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.