Draft Booklist for a Last-Minute First-Year Writing Course

Lego X-Men

Photo by Flickr user Rob Young / Creative Commons licensed

As I’ve whined on Twitter, my digital humanities class this semester was canceled*, and has been replaced with a section of first-year writing.  Since classes begin on the 24th,  I need a book order immediately, and a syllabus soon after.

My normal strategy in first-year writing courses, since I normally teach in the first-year experience program, is to make the class be about college.  We read a lot about higher ed, from a variety of perspectives.  And that works pretty well with first-semester students. In the spring, though, the students have been around for a semester, and I’ve never had good luck with that approach under those circumstances.  (And it’s not an FYE section anyway–it’s just a regular section of 110.)  I needed a new theme, and thought that comic books would be an interesting way to go.

Here’s the draft booklist for the class:

We’ll also do some webcomics, but I don’t know which ones yet.  (Definitely Vision Machine, though, since my 7-yr-old loves Greg Pak, and he secretly makes all my curricular decisions.) If you’ve got thoughts, let me know!

(I’ll acknowledge straightaway that the course is shaped to a certain extent by “stuff I know really well without having to do a dramatic amount of prep for, since ohbytheway I’m still union president, and teaching comp while doing that is going to be hard.” The course isn’t providing an introduction or a proper survey, but just enough to be interesting.)

*The course suffered from a perfect storm: it doesn’t count for *anything* in the major; it meets on MWF in the first semester of a new MW schedule (all classes with Friday sessions took a hit); and I wasn’t around in the fall to hype it, especially in light of the other two reasons.

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