6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits. Required for seniors.
English 12 divides into two parts: a two-trimester literature course and a one trimester exploration of good writing in a variety of subject areas and modes.The Two-Trimester Literature Course
Choosing from American literature, British literature, the literature of Africa, India, and the Caribbean in English, and World Literature in English and in translation, each of Hackley’s three twelfth-grade literature courses comprises a two-trimester unit introducing students to collegiate-level work in exploring and writing about literature, culture, and theory.
While each of the courses offers a unique selection of texts, themes, and critical perspectives, all courses serve to develop students’ skills as readers of many types of “texts”: literature, journalism, film, theatre, advertisements, and the visual arts.
In addition, students will develop their skills both as writers and thinkers through class presentations, group projects, and writing tasks in a variety of genres.
Students will come to appreciate that the Anglo-American literary tradition is not the only viable tradition; that the Anglo-American tradition has complexities they have not yet encountered; that a historical approach must not look purely at the center of a literary domain, but must also look at its borders on the margins of the text; that there are no “theory-free” readings of texts or cultures; that all language is political and that even the “plain style” has an agenda; that the politics of “othering” limits our perceptions; that we must step out of and look critically at the center of society; and that we have much to learn from the range of critical theories open to us – including but not limited to historicism, new criticism, feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, new historicism, cultural materialism, queer theory, post-colonial theory, social-spatial theory, etc.
Students will pursue class presentations, group projects, and writing tasks in a variety of genres, with a major written project (but no exam) due in the second trimester.
The One-Trimester Exploration of Good Writing
In the third trimester, students will stay with their English teachers and schedules, but they will start a new course exploring reading and writing on various subjects and the writing skills and forms common to those subjects.
Our goal is for students to develop their facility at flexibly applying their skills to any kind of writing--both in terms of content and in terms of form. Each section will select several subject areas in which students would like to read and about which they would like to write.
Possible subjects may include: sports, food, music, film, theatre, visual arts, technology, environment, social-justice, political opinion, social commentary, and—of course—literature.
Students will explore and write essays on those topics in 1) position papers such as op-ed pieces, sports commentaries, etc.; 2) reviews such as book-, film-, and architecture-reviews; 3) creative nonfiction pieces including such forms as traditional essays, lyric essays, and poetry; and 4) for those who choose, traditional analytical essays.
Students will also explore how these may be translated in public speeches. Students will not only read and write, but they will write about the writing of their peers, write metacognitively about their own writing, and participate in writing workshops on selected pieces of student work.