Fall 2014 | ENG 221 Advanced Writing Workshop
“If you don’t know where you are,” Wendell Berry claims, “you don’t know who you are.” Scholars like Yi-Fu Tuan, Doreen Massey, and David Harvey argue that our surroundings – both past and present – fundamentally influence the self. But how, actually, do space and place, home and abroad, here and there collide to shape our identities?
This course will ask students to engage with a variety of texts that consider place and the self, but the course will also encourage students to draw on their own experiences of different places and to reflect on the impact these experiences have had on them.
In English 221, students will explore the concept of place and how place shapes us, while they practice advanced writing and communication skills. Students will complete regular reflections (both written, pictorial, and oral) as well as scaffolded assignments in multiple communicative modes, including a proposal, a presentation, a researched and argument driven essay, and a memoir. As an overarching point of examination of the intersections of place and self and of the representation of both, students will also craft personal websites that will curate the projects that students complete for the course.
Course texts may include selections from Place: A Short Introduction by Tim Cresswell, Space + Place: The Perspective of Experience by Yi-Fu Tuan, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, Senses of Place edited by Steven Feld and Keith Basso, various memoirs, travelogues, and blogs. Also part of required course readings will be classmates’ websites and reflections as they research and craft their own responses to the course questions.