Cultural Criticism

Term: Fall 2010

Subject Code: GLIB

Course Number: 5112

A team-taught seminar, this course focuses on the elements that constitute a strong writing style and on how writers concerned with political and cultural issues deploy various rhetorical techniques in order to entertain and outrage, provoke and inspire. A part of the class, consisting of a close evaluation of student essays in cultural criticism, is under the direction of Ms. Monroe, during which students read key texts by a variety of cultural critics, including Matthew Arnold, Mark Twain, W.E.B. DuBois, H.L. Mencken, George Orwell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Lionel Trilling, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, and Edward Said. In the sessions that he leads, Mr. Hitchens analyzes several exemplary cultural critics and discuss his own experience as a public intellectual. Our goal is to understand better how cultural critics make specific literary choices in order to elicit a political and cultural response from their readers.

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