LBR&WS 153

Stories of Struggle: Work, Class, and Narrative in Contemporary America

Description: Lecture, three hours. Overview of contemporary working narratives. Investigation of how working-class Americans from diverse backgrounds have narrated their struggles with poverty, education, work, parenthood, bodily suffering, and war. Inquiry into what readers can learn from these struggles as students, writers, and activists. Emphasis on 21st-century narratives. Analysis of variety of genres, including poetry, lyrics, short stories, journalism and reportage, novels, memoir, and autobiography, for how they portray working class people and what they offer working class movement culture. Consideration of class as intersectional category of experience along with race, gender, and sexuality. Students read narratives about class and work, and contribute to body of working class literature through memoir, fiction, poetry, or journalism. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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