English 501-04: American Literary Nonfiction

ENGL 501-04
American Literary Nonfiction (3 Credits)
Instructor: Gary Williams
June 22 - July 17, Monday - Thursday, 10:30a.m. - 1:20p.m.


Gary Williams
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This course uses American texts, mainly from the nineteenth century, to address the new emphasis in secondary language arts instruction on gathering information from reading and on the specific category of literary nonfiction.   A secondary goal is to assist teachers in developing suggested reading lists for fellow teachers in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects to help ensure that students can independently build knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing.

The course will include essays by Emerson, Thoreau, and Muir; it will also feature an opportunity for teachers to read sections of Moby-Dick with this goal in sight.  (Melville—self-educated drifter across the seas who got crazy-excited about books and information—is a great model for grasping and incorporating information in a lively way.)  The last week of the course directs attention to some recent American science writing that replicates and extends the strategies of the 19th-century giants.