English 473: Burning Illusions: Exploration in American Culture

Course No: 1473
Subject: English
Grade Level: 12
Course Length: Semester
Course Type: Elective
UC/CSU Subject Approval: B
Prerequisite: English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment: None
Fulfillments: Eight-semester graduation requirement

Designed as a critical thinking and writing course for seniors, this course investigates the evolution of the United States through social, cultural, economic, and ideological lenses.  Examination of the growth of American society and myths through a diverse set of readings enables students to grasp the connections and struggles between the powerful and the disenfranchised throughout American history.  The readings illuminate and deconstruct American cultural myths through a broad range of topics (family, education, power, race — and mediums such as fiction, nonfiction, music (jazz, folk, rock, hip-hop) and film.  By fostering intellectual independence essential to not only critical thinking, but to becoming “men and women with and for others,” this course benefits and welcomes students of all backgrounds.  Featured authors include Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Cornel West, Tomas Rivera, and Malcolm X.  Students will engage in expository, creative, and autobiographical writing.