English 11: Literature of Place

Upper School

Grade 11


Credits: 1

Advanced level also available

How does the place shape a person? In this course, students will study primarily the literature of America and Americans, both of these broadly defined to include indigenous, undocumented, newly arrived, long-settled, powerful, and powerless people. Students will read and examine what it means to be a citizen, to have a voice, or to be without one, here in this country. They will write amply about who tells the story of our country and what each narrative reveals about our hopes, dreams, and values. Students will write critically and creatively on every text, and they will learn to use their own voices to speak truth to power in the form of letters to the editor, one-act plays, short fiction, poetry, speeches, and editorial or persuasive essays. Texts may include: Beloved, The Great Gatsby, The Wolves, The Roundhouse, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and Americanah; stories by Melville, Twain, Lahiri, Jackson, Munro, Parker, O’Connor, and Davis; poems by Dickinson, Stevens, Millay, Vuong, Diaz, and Plath; and essays by Rankine, Coates, Dillard, King, and others.