ENG106 Introduction to Literature: Poetry

Fulfills the Arts and Letters requirement

Fall 2015
Schedule – TBA
Location –
Instructor – Courtney Thorsson

In this course, we will study formal properties of poetry by reading groups of poems about important figures in the long struggle for black liberation in the United States. Through careful analysis of poems about people including Frederick Douglass, Emmett Till, Malcolm X, John Coltrane, and Barack Obama, we will learn to identify conventions of sonnets, ballads, and other poetic forms as U.S. authors use them in a variety of specific political, historical, and cultural contexts. As this list of possibilities suggests, we will think about the complex ways poetry describes and imagines both black masculinity and socio-political change. ENG 106 is not a comprehensive introduction to the traditions poetry in English. It is, rather, designed to help you engage with poetry, improving your writing, reading, and critical thinking skills in the process. Weekly readings are relatively short but demanding. This class requires substantial writing and vigorous participation.