Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ariel E Wetzel
ENGL 250
Seattle Campus

American Literature

Introduces American culture through a careful reading of a variety of representative texts in their historical contexts.

Class description

English 250 is a survey course that introduces you to a diverse selection of "American" literature. In this section, we read and analyze diverse texts by and about working class people, such as miners, nurses, farm-workers, maids, and factory-workers. Themes of this literature include: poverty, physical labor, labor organizing and strikes, globalization, and unemployment. Questions we will address include: (1) What is "working class"? (2) What features make up working class literature, if there even is such a thing? (3) How might working class literature be included and excluded from what we typically thought of as "canonical" (must-read) American literature? (4) How does working class identity intersect with gender, race, and immigration status? (5) Why should we study working class literature? Why is it relevant in 2013?

We will be reading The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, many excerpts from the anthology American Working Class Literature, and other readings. We will also likely watch the films Newsies and Salt of the Earth.

This class will be discussion-oriented, with groups of students facilitating on some days. Students will be expected to keep up with course readings and participate regularly in class discussions. Assignments will likely include quizzes, exams, and weekly discussion board posts. You will also be asked to attend a public event related to course themes and write a short reflection.

Note: I do not have add-codes at this time, and in order to preserve the quality of the class, do not intend to enroll over 40 students.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ariel E Wetzel
Date: 03/24/2013